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The Sammaniyya 
Doctrine, History and Future 

Historical, descriptive and analytical study 
By: Abdulgalil Abd Allah Salih 
University of Gezira 
Faculty of Education 
English Department 

Mobile: 0911176395 

List of maps — 

List of figures - 

List of plates 

Acknowledgements - 

Abbreviations — 

preface — 


Introduction 17 

Chapter one 

Islamic mysticism 

Background to the concept 32 

Definition of Sufism 2 1 

The sources of Sufism 25 

Scholars and Sufism 31 

The essence of Sufism 34 

The concept of tariqa 35 

The Sufi pledge — 37 

The chain of spiritual transmission silts la 38 

Shari' a and tasawwuf- 40 



Sufis on Shari 'a 

Stations and spiritual state 46 

Sufism and the deniers - 48 

Chapter Two 

Sufism in the Sudan 

Islamization of the Sudan 53 

The Sufi brotherhoods 55 

The Qadiriyya and the Shadhiliyya 58 

Factors behind Sufism spreading — 59 

The impact of Sufism on the Sudan 64 

The intellectuals and the role of Sufis in Sudan 72 

Chapter three 

The Sammaniyya pnrTqa 

Historical background 74 

Shaykh Muhammad Abd al-Karlm al-Samman 82 

Sammaniyya around the world 87 

Chapter Four 

Sammaniyya in the Sudan 

Arrival — 89 


The concept and philosophy 91 

The initiation pledge — 95 

The aw rad 96 

The Qadiri sanad 97 

The Khalwati sanad 97 

The contributing factors of its spread 99 

Tariqa ’s contribution 102 

Reformist tariqa 105 

Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-BashTr 1 1 5 

The centres of the tariqa 116 

The decentralisation of the tariqa — 117 

Chapter five 

The students of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib 

Shaykli Ahmad al-Basir 1 1 9 

Shaykli Muhammad Tom w.Bannaqa' 128 

Shaykli al-QurashT 132 

Shaykli Hasib al-Kubawi 133 

Shaykh al-Amin w.Umm-Haqln 

Chapter six 



Shaykli al-Sabonabi 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Sabonabi - 

Shaykli Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im 175 

Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im 141 

Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylli 144 

Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan 147 

Shaykh al-Jaylli Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan — 149 

Shaykh Qarlb Allah Shaykh Abu-Salih 151 

Shaykh al-Fatih Shaykh Qarlb Allah 153 

Shaykh Hasan Shaykli al-Fatih Qarlb Allah 157 

Shaykh Zayin al-Abdin Shaykh al- Hasan 158 

Shaykh al-Tayyib Shaykh Abdr-Rahman 160 

Shaykh al-Bakrl Shaykli al-Tayyib 161 

Shaykh al-BashTr w.Nur al-Da'im 162 

Shaykh al-Sammani - 166 

Shaykh al-Bakrl Shaykli al-Sammani 170 

Shaykh Hasan Shaykli al-Bakrl — 171 

Shaykh al-Sammani Shaykh al-Bakrl 173 

Sharif Ahmad al-Tuhami Sharif Ayis 175 


Sharif al-Khatim 


Sharif Muhammad al-Amln al-Khatim 179 

Shaykli Birayer 180 

Shaykli Omer al-Safi 182 

Shaykli Muhammad Waqi Allah 

Shaykli Abdr-Rahaim al-Buri 190 

Shaykli al-Nur w. Arabi — 191 

Shaykli al-lmam Qadir wall 194 

Shaykli al-Yaqoot Shaykli Muhammad 197 

Shaykli Talha w.Husyan — 198 

Shaykli Muhammad w.Hashim — 199 

Shaykli Muhammad Ahmad Abu-Ezza 200 

Sammaniyya the most celebrated poets 

Shaykli al-Makawi — 203 

Sammaniyya famous praise- singers 

Shaykli al-Amln al-QurashT 204 

Shaykli Ali Bakliait al-Shair 205 

Chapter seven 

The distinctive features of the Sammaniyya 


Chapter eight 

The future of the Sammaniyya 



Sources &Bibliography — 314 



Map- 1 the major centres of the Sammaniyya in the 


Map - 2 the Sammaniyya around the world 


The System of Transliteration 

The following table shows the system which I have followed for 
the transliteration of the letters of the Arabic alphabet. All 
Arabic terms are transliterated into Roman characters, in italics, 
proper names are given without italics, and words now 
incorporated into the common English lexicon are spelt using 
their English fonn. This also applies to certain proper nouns that 
are commonly transliterated differently. For example, I write 
‘Sammarnyya’, to represent the spelling used in official 
communications by this Sufi order in European languages. The 
word "Shaykh" with its abundant appearance it was treated as 
an English word not italicized. 










Long vowels 

A ' 

c 7 

T 7 


Diagram 1- the Sharia , Tariqa and Haqiqa relation 

Diagram 2- the major Sufi orders in Sudan 


Diagram 3 - The grandsons and khulafa" of al-Samman 

Diagram 4 the students of Shaykh Muhammad al-Samman 

Diagram 5 the main turuq which constitute the Sammaniyya 

Diagram- 5 the assets or base of the Sammaniyya 175 

Diagram 6 the well-reputed students of Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib 201 

Diagram 7 the Sammaniyya most famous sites established by 
the sons and the grandsons of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al- 
BashTr 206 

Diagram 8 famous students of shaykh al- Tom 

Diagram 9 Famous students of Shaykh al-QurashT 

Diagram 9 Burai's poetic diwans 334 

Diagram 10 The Sammaniyya most famous poets 



Figure 2- 1 Shaykh Jariq al-Samman 129 

Figure 3- 2 al-BaqT cemetery in al-Madin where al-Samman 
was buried 130 130 

Figure 3- 3 Shaykh Shaykhoon al-Lithi, of the Sammaniyya 
Khalwatiyya 134 

Figure 3-4 the author is standing in front of the tomb Shaykh 
Mustafa al-Bakrl in Cairo August 2014 


Figure 3- 5 the grave of Shaykh Abd al-Samad al-Falimbani 

Figure 3 -6 Muhammad Zaini bin Abdul Ghani al-Banjari, 
Sammani Shaykh in Indonesia 142 

Figure 3-6 Shaykh Muhammad Nasir Kabra 1 52 

Figure 3-7 Sammani dervish from South Sudan, the picture has 
been taken in December 2014 at al-Keryida Shaykh Omer 

Figure 3-8 Sammaniyya gathering in London 160 


Figure 4 -9 masid of Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib b al-Bashir 206 

Figure 5 - 1 the tomb of Shaykh Ahmad al-BaSir 1780 

Figure 5- 2 some relics of Shaykli Muhammad T5m w. 
Bannaqa' 219 

Figure 5- 3- the tomb of Shaykli w.Bannaqa' 220 

Figure 5- 4 banner has written on it La ilah ila Allah 
Muhammad rasul Allah, al-Qurashi is the wall of Allah. 


Figure 5 -5 the tomb of Shaykli al-Qurashi - 


Figure 5- 6 Shaykli al-Amin w. Umm-Haqm 


Figure 5-7 Shaykh Muhammad al-Sabonabi 

Figure 5- 8 the tomb of Shaykli al-Sabonabi 239 

Figure 5-9 Shaykli Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im 


Figure 5-10 the tomb of Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al- 
Da'im 255 

Figure 5- 11 Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylli 


Figure 5- 11 Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan 


Figure 5-12 Shaykli al-Jaylli Shaykh al-Hafyan 268 

Figure 5- 13 masid of Shaykh abd al-Mahamoud w. Nur al- 
Da'im 269 

Figure 5- 14 Shaykh Qarlb Allah Shaykli Abu-Salih 

Figure 5-15 Shaykli al-Fatih Shaykli Qarlb Allah 

Figure 5-16 professor Shaykh Hasan al-Fatih Qarib Allah 


Figure 5-17 masid of Shaykli Qarlb Allah Shaykh Abu-Salih 



Figure 5- 18 Shaykh Zayn al-Abidin Shaykli al-Hasan 

Figure 5- 19 Shaykli al-Tayyib Shaykh al-Bashlr Shaykh Abdr- 
Rhman 289 

Figure 5- 20 Shaykh al-Bakrl Shaykh al-Tayyib 


Figure 5-21 the tomb of Shaykh al -Bashir Shaykli Nur al- 
Da'im 294 

Figure 5- 22 Shaykh al-Sammani Shaykh al-Bashlr 


Figure 5 - 23 Shaykh al-Bakrl Shaykli al-Sammani 


Figure 5- 24 Shaykh al-Badawi Shaykh al-Sammani 


Figure 5-25 Shaykh al-Jayili Shaykh al-Sammani 


Figure 5 -26 Shaykli al-Sediq Shaykli al-Sammani 


Figure 5 -27 Shaykli Ibrahim Shaykli al-Sammani 

Figure 5-28 the author with Sediq al-Badawi, October 2013 

Figure 5- 29 Shaykh Hasan Shaykh al-Bakrl al-Sammani 


Figure 5-30 masid of Shaykh al-Samman Shaykh al-BashTr 

312 Figure 5-31 Shaykli al-Samman Shaykli al-Bakrl 

Figure 5- 32 masid of Shaykli al-Samman Shaykh al-BakrT 

Figure 5- 33 Shaykh Ahmad al-Tuhami 


Figure 5- 34 Sharif Muhammad al-Amln al-Khatim 

Figure 5- 35 masid Sharif Muhammad al-Amin al-Khatim 


Figure 5- 36 the tomb of Shaykh Birayer 

Figure 5- 37 masid of Shaykh Omer Rajil al-Keriyda 330 

Figure 5- 38 Shaykh Abdr-Rahim al-Burai 


Figure 5-39 the tombs of Shaykh Muhammad Waqi Allah and 
his son Shaykh Abd al-Rahim al-Burai 

Figure 5- 40 the tomb of Shaykh Muhammad al-Nur w.Arabi 

Figure 5- 41the author with Shaykh al-Yaqoot 448 

Figure 5-42 the tomb of Shaykh Talha 

Figure 5-43 the tomb of shaykh w. Hashim 

Figure 5-45 Student at the khalwa prepares food for his 
mates 363 


Figure 5- 46 Shaykh Abu-Ezaa 


Figure 5- 47 the grave of the poet al-Makawi 368 

Figure 5- 48 Shaykh al-Amln al-QurashT & Shaykh Ali Bakhit 



All praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe, the Almighty for 
His blessing and strength that He has given me to put the words 
into the final text. Peace be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his 
family and followers. It is a most pleasant duty to acknowledge 
my gratitude to all those who have inspired and abetted me 
along the way, though an exhaustive list is impossible. I am 
forever indebted to Shaykh Hasan Shaykli al-Bakrl , the late 
Shaykh Hasan al-Fatih Qarib Allah, Shaykli al-Sammani 
Shaykh al-Bakrl , Shaykh Muhammad al- Hasan Shaykh al- 
Tayyib, Shaykli Muhammad Surur Shaykli al-Hafyan, Shaykli 
al-Sediq Shaykh al-Badawi and Shaykh Qurashi Shaykh 
Ibrahim, for their encouragement and support throughout the 
stages of the book writing. Special thanks and gratitude extend 
to Shaykli al-Jyaili Shaykli al-Hafyan for writing the book 
introduction. Sincere thanks and gratitude go to Abdul Majeed 
Al-Tayyib the associated professors of applied linguistics at the 
Sudanese and Saudi Arabia universities for introducing the 
book. My deepest thanks extended to all who were my hosts, for 
one night or more, and who did everything to make my stay 
enjoyable and fruitful. Apart from those who lodged me, I am 
most grateful to all who shared their knowledge with me; I must 


thank my interviewees, without whom this book would not 
exist. I cannot begin to name them all here, nor can I adequately 
express the affection that I feel for them. My thanks go to my 
sincere brother Muiz al-Tayyib, Seif Adin Suliman, and ustaz 
Gasim Said al-Sabah, University of Khartoum, English 
Language Institute (ELI) for their help and support. Sincere 
thanks and acknowledgments go to Shaykh al-Jaylli Shaykli 
Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan, the Sammaniyya khalifa of Tabat, 
and Shaykh Muhammad Shaykh Hasan al -Fatih , the 
Sammaniyya khalifa of w.Nubawi, who kindly offered me with 
their personal copies of documents and valuable materials 
which have been of vital importance for this research. It is a 
pleasant duty to express my gratitude to those who assisted me 
in the preparation of this work; special thanks go to Esmat 
Abdr-Rahman at, the University of Gezira, Faculty of Education 
Library. Finally I would like to thank all my family, for their 
encouragement and support. I would like to say my final thank 
to everyone who offered sip of water, or a word of 
encouragement. Words cannot express. 



a.s: alayhi salam (Upon him be peace). 

bt: bint "daughter". 

ibn: son (of) 

sw t: subhanu wa ta'la. 

s.a.w: Sal a Allahu alayhi wa salam (May the peace and 

blessings of Allah be upon him). 

r.a.: radiya Allahu anliu, or anhum (May Allah be satisfied 

with him, her or them). 

w: (Sudanese dialect): son of (properly, walad). Son (of) 



The men of the golden silisla of the tariqa 



I have been asked by Dr. Abdulgalil Abd Allah Salih to write 
this introduction to his book: The Sammaniyya: Doctrine, 
History and Future. I have accepted to undertake this task 
because I believe the time has come for books and other forms 
of publications to be written in languages other than Arabic. As 
far as I know there is very little information about the 
Sammaniyya doctrine "tariqa " which is available originally in 
Western languages like English, French, Spanish, Germanic etc. 
Yes, one can find translations to some material which is 
published in languages other than Arabic. But, what is rare is 
works like the present one which is written in English language 
to draw the attention to one of the most important and widely 
spreading Sufi doctrines i.e. the Sammaniyya doctrine or 
" tariqa " . 

The reader may wonder why I made a point of the significance 
of publishing in Western languages without mentioning the 
same need for publishing in non-Westem languages. This 
should not be seen as suggesting that only publication in 
European language is important. Nothing can be far from the 
truth. One would love to see as many publications about the 
Sammaniyya tariqa in all the languages used all over the 


world. However, it goes without saying, that today, at this 
particular point in the developing history of mankind the issue 
of Islam became pivotal. This particularly the case in the West. 
Upheavals in the Islamic world and some actions by Muslims 
adherents in different parts of the world have caused the 
attention of the news- followers and consequently media 
personnel and channels to focus on Islam as a religion as well 
as on Muslims. No region in the whole world competes with the 
degree of attention being paid today to Islam and issues relating 
to it as it is the case in Western countries. 

One can sense a genuine craving by many in the West to have 
the chance to look at material which can help them to analyze 
and eventually understand the basic issues concerning Islam . 
The air is full of ideas, pictures, voices being dispatched from 
different corners of the earth claiming authenticity and 
impartiality when the majority of what is in the market are 
issued by non- specialists. Hence, this book, by Dr Abdulgalil 
Salih discussing an influential aspect of Islamic thought and 
practice, which is Sufism. Dr Salih made an admirable effort in 
collecting, the essential data to put together a coherent picture 
about the history of the Sammaniyya. 

I expect that you will not fail to notice that through the title of 
the book prepares us to read about the history of the 
Sammaniyya tanqa as practiced in different parts of the world, 
in fact the book focuses mainly on the Sammaniyya tanqa 
within one country: Sudan. This does not mean that the 
Sammaniyya tanqa is not found in other countries. The book 
mentions that the tanqa is an international tanqa and it is 
found in a number of countries in Africa such as: Egypt, 
Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and South Africa. The 
Sammaniyya is also found in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, India, 
Indonesia, Britain, USA as well as in many other countries. It is 
not unwarranted to claim that Sammaniyya tanqa is 
widespread. This is the case of most of the famous Sufi 
doctrines. They are found in different parts of the world and 
confined to one or two countries. The reason behind the spread 
is simple. Sufism is one of the most recognized and both 
accepted and respected schools of Islam . In fact, it is the main 
vehicle through which Islam as religion has spread in several 
areas and resided in great number of countries. 

Sufism is a doctrine, a way , a method school “ tanqa ” that has 
its roots in the teachings of Islam as found in the Quran and 
HADlTH i.e “the sayings and teachings of prophet Muhammad 


peace be upon him ’’the Quran says in one of the verses qad 
aflah man zakaha ” meaning :the person who purifies it i.e his 
soul , will succeed„(Surah No. 91 “ Alshams ” verse No. 9) the 
ideas expressed in this verse summarises one of the most 
important pillars upon which Sufism rests . The sincere 
companions of the prophet peace be upon him worked very hard 
to attain the status of “tazkiya” i.e purification. To achieve this, 
they made it their business to their souls under constant 
scrutiny , they keep an open eye to observe all its colours and 
shapes. Those who mastered this science of watching the soul 
tell us that it has no constant state. The soul is an every moving 
and changing entity. Sometime it is an exemplary companion 
full of that it is good pushing you to do everything that is 
accepted as good. Yet, the same soul which has strong grip on 
the emotions and motives of human beings can order her mate 
to be human devil .and in many cases the human being who is 
being guided by this soul, in her devilish mood, falls prey to her 
temptation and misbehaves. Thus man falls from the pedestal of 
higher sublime performance to the gutter of the debase. 

This practice of attempting to attain the ultimate good in human 
behavior was kept alive by the followers of the companions of 
the prophet “peace be upon him “the goal was set along the time 


by the teachings of Islam as were handed down by the prophet 
and his companions and their followers. Sufism bases its 
teachings on the belief that: purification of the soul is the 
ultimate and greatest target which ambitious and true believers 
should aim to fulfill. Since human beings are what they are, we 
notice that each is endowed by a different degree of ambition 
and resilience. Hence , they attempt with different degrees of 
vigour to force their souls to submit to their wills rather than 
they become blindly guided by the changing whims of their 
souls :under the large banner of Sufism many sub-school 
“ tanqa ” of Sufism are encompassed. They all have the same 
target, they all share the same basic requirement of Sufism . 

Sufism is school of true believer. Members of the school should 
believer that Allah Almighty is one and only one God. They 
should believe that prophet Muhammad is messenger of Allah 
and that the holly Quran is word of Allah. Follows this is 
believe in the presence of angels and that Allah will resurrect 
people after they die and send the good to paradise and the bad 
to hell. Believers should accept the “ kaabcT in Makaa as the 
point to which Muslims should turn when they pray. These as 
mentioned before, are basic elements in the belief of Muslims. 


Sufism is based on the idea that there are degrees of everything 
There are degrees of belief, there are degrees of rewards. 
Paradise is not just one place where all the good people live. 
There are different strata in paradise, for example, there are 
levels even in paradise for people who are good and levels for 
people who are very good and levels for example for those who 
are excellent. These are different levels of reward correspond, to 
some extent, to the level of good that a person does in this 
present life. Levels of good tie with levels of awareness of 
presence of Allah as a scratinizer and a continuous assessor of 
the deeds of human beings. 

Sufists made their choice long ago that they want to compete for 
the highest possible attainable position in paradise. Why? 
Because the prophet “peace be upon him “advised Muslims to 
ask for the “ alfirdous al’ala min aljcma ” i.e Muslim should 
work hard and ask Allah to place him in the highest and 
grandest position in paradise .That is level where the prophet 
“peace be upon him” and other prophet send by Allah 
messengers sent by Allah reside. Next to them are those people 
who are highly rewarded. 

That there are levels is alluded to in the hadith i.e “saying of 
the prophet Muhammad “ peace be upon him” that are narrated 


by khalifa Omer Ibn Al-Khatab “ known sometime as hadith 
jibril”. In this hadith , Jibril “ the master of angles” “may he 
blessed by Allah “ came to the prophet in the form of a man 
, while the prophet was talking to his companions “ may they 
blessed by Allah “.Jibril” may Allah bless him “ intended to 
teach the companions a lesson . So, he asked the prophet “peace 
be upon him ” three questions :one about the elements that 
summarize the requirements of worshipping as set in Islam 
.question two was about the element that constitute true belief, 
for example belief in Allah and the prophet etc. the third 
question was about the level of “ ihsan ” i.e. perfection . The 
prophet said that the ihsan is to worship Allah as if you are 
seeing him , if you do not see him , he is watching you . The 
Suftsts took this as their motto and a summary of their target. 
Level of ihsan is what a true Sufist should aim for. From the 
hadith they gleaned that if you worship Allah as if you are 
seeing him, this requires that one has to be sincere in his prayers 
and perform them with absolute perfection since Allah is 

Because Allah is continuously watching us, we must always be 
aware that we are being watched, every second or minute of the 
day .This being the case, one has to be always in state of prayer. 


While saying your prayers you obviously in prayer. But even 
when you are driving your car or waiting for the bus, you 
should be praying. The simplest form of prayer in Islam is 
dhikr. If the idea or Name of Allah crosses your mind or if you 
mention his Name ’’Allah” or any of His many names, you will 
be in a state of “dhikr” i.e. prayer. One of the core jobs required 
to be done by any Sufi , is the job of dhikr. If the idea dhikr is 
the act of the repeating the Name of Allah or any of his other 
names many times. The more you do “ dhikr ” the greater would 
be your reward .You would be rewarded in this life or in the 
next or in both of them 

At the beginning “ taSawwufi i.e. worshipping as a Sufist was an 
individual act. One of the earliest names in association with 
“taSawwufi was Imam Ali Zyan al-Abdeen , the grandson of the 
4 th Muslim Caliph Ali ibn Abi-Talib the cousin of the prophet 
Muhammad “peace be upon him “. Zayn al-Abdeen and other 
practitioners knew that the way to perfection was to do all good 
and refrain from what is bad. Fasting, dhikr caring for the 
needy, praying through the night and not caring for riches of 
this life were among many of values and deeds Sufists 
considered crucial to achieve their set goals. 

This individual form of taSawwuf continued till the appearance 
of Shaykli Abdul- Qadir al-Jayilni in Baghdad (bom 470 hijri). 
Authenticated historical data suggest that Shaykh Abdul -Qadir 
al-Jayilni became the first Shaykh in Islam ic Sufism to group a 
number of individual Sufis under his guidance . His “ tanqa ” 
i.e. school ,came to be known as “the Qadiriyya” It is claimed 
to be the most famous Sufis tanqa . A number of the students 
of the Qadiriyya tanqa excelled and have been given an 
“ ijaza ” i.e a certificate from the master indicating that they are 
now qualified to start their own schools and teach students the 
essential subjects one needs to be good and useful Muslim these 
included learning how to read Quran ,as well as memorizing 
Quran .they give lessons on “ tafseer ” i.e interpretation of Quran 
ffigh ” i,e. Islamic jurisprudence , “xeera” i.e the history of 
Islam and the major incidences that took place in the past and 
had their effect on religion and the general welfare of the 
believer . In additions to that, they gave lessons on Arabic 
language since it is the language of the Quran and it was logical 
to expect a person who teaches Quran to master Arabic 
language. Side by side with these subjects the tanqa Shaykhs 
used to teach their student the facets and dimensions of 
“ Sufism ” in order to help them to become excellent worshipers. 


One of the acknowledged customs among those graduates is to 
make known the names of the sheiks who instructed them and 
those who instructed their Shaykh though the path, “ tariqa ” 
this being the case, one will find many leaders or different 
“ farTqas ” mention name of their Shaykhs and the Shaykhs of 
their Shaykhs; repeating this process till one ends the Qadiriyya 
tariqa as the starting point. 

Dr Salih tells the readers of this book that the Sammaniya 
tariqa is not an exception. Its Shuyukhs are part of the 
Shuyukhs chain “known in Arabic as SILSILA ” that ends with 
Qadiriyya Tariqa as the original source . The Sammaniya 
Tariqa got the name from that of its founder Shaykh 
Muhammad Abulkareem al-Samman bom (1130higri). He is 
the grand grandson of Caliph Abubakr al-Sidiq the l sl caliph . 
Shaykh al-Samman was initiated by Shaykh Mustafa al Bakri 
born (1099 higri) . Shaykh al-Samman got “ Ijaza ” from 
Shaykh al-Bakrl in A- Tariqa Alkhalwatiyya. In addition he 
was taught by other Shaykhs and become qualified and 
permitted to teach and give “ ijaza ” in the following tariqas: the 
Qadiriyya, the Naqshbandiyya, Alanfassya, and Almuafaqa the 


The advent of the Sammaniya tariqa began in the Sudan when 
Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-Bashlr" came back from Hajj. 
Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib “born 1155” went to perform Hajj 
when he was 16 years old. After finishing Hajj he left Makah to 
visit al-Madiena al-Monawara. There, he met Shaykh 
Muhammadal-Samman “founder of Sammaniyya tariqa ” . 
Shaykli Alnnad al-Tayyib enrolled in the school of Muhammad 
al-Samman and stayed there for seven years. Shaykh al- 
Samman decided that Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib became 
qualified enough to be awarded “ ijaza ” in a number of tariqas. 
These were: the Sammaniyya, the Khalwatiyya , Alanfassya, the 
Naqshabandiya, the Qadiriyya, and Almufaqa for both Shaykh 
al-Samman and his student Ahmad al-Tayyib, Sammaniyya 
tariqa had a central position. 

Dr Salih in this present book gives a good summary of the 
general biography of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib . He has equally 
done a very good job in tracing the different Shaykhs of the 
Sammaniyya in Sudan and supplied useful biographical data 
about each one. The information given covers areas like the date 
of birth of each Shaykli and a summary about his education, 
mentioning the Shaykhs who had influenced him and would 
include information about his students and some of their major 


achievements. The biographical survey of the history of 
Shaykhs of the tarlqa Sammaniya draws attention to the wide 
geographical areas covered by Shaykhs of the Sammsniyya. 
They established schools for teaching the Quran and other 
religious subject plus Arabic. These schools are known as 
“ khalawi “the singular of “ khalawi is “ khalwa The 
Sammaniyya “ khalwas ” i.e. school can be found in all parts of 
Sudan. Some are in central Sudan. Other are in Western Sudan 
and others in the North and others are located in the South as 
well as Eastern Sudan. Some of these schools are old and were 
founded more than 250 years ago. 

The survey of the Sammaniyya schools and Shaykhs gives the 
reader a good picture about the history of the tarlqa since it 
covers very old schools. At the same time the survey gives a 
good summary of the present situation regarding the activities 
engaged in today by the different Shaykhs and their khalawi. 
These activities draw a picture of the main aspect of the 
doctrine and set of belief that inform tarlqa Sammaniyya .The 
doctrine is duplicated by most of the popular Sufist tariqas. It is 
not surprising to find duplicity in the doctrine since the target is 
the same and the original ideas came from the same roots; 

namely, the Quran and Hadith of prophet Muhammad “peace be 
upon him” 

In his discussion of the future of the Sammaniyya, Dr Salih 
mentions that the Sammaniyya will flourish. This is expected to 
be true for all the major Sufi tctriqa . He reasons that there is a 
general acceptance of because Sufis of the essence of 
moderation in its understanding of Islam . The world today 
shies away from extreme and violent views related to religions. 
Accordingly, the author, Dr .Salih, predicts that this will help 
Sufism , including Sammaniyya ,to grow and spread. 

Dr Salih recommends that the Sammaniyya and the other Sufi 
tariqas should appeal to the “education mind”. He says 
“ tasawswuf should necessarily be linked with real events and its 
objectives expressed in a scientific manner. Its attraction will 
thus reach beyond the poor, the distressed, under education and 
the downtrodden who at present make up the bulk of its 
following “ . This quotation from the chapter titled The Future 
of the Sammaniyya is very interesting. It echoes the popular 
criticism launched against Sufism. It talks about two main 
points that critics believe about Sufism: 

1. The Sufi discourse does not appeal to the educated mind 


2. The bulk of followers of Sufism are poor and under educated 

In the following paragraphs I will try to tackle the points 
mentioned above since they have been very much in circulation 
during the past recent years. Sufism , in general, and 
Sammaniyya tariqa in particular, has been experiencing 
unprecedented surge in the number of followers . This led to 
great increase in the number of hours granted on TV talk shows 
that discuss issues related to Sufism. TV shows stimulated the 
appetite of personnel working in the media especially in e.g 
newspaper and radio stations. Those quickly jumped on the 
wagon of the Sufi - debate there are four main reasons for this: 

1. Satellite television gave birth to a number of TV stations. In 
addition to that, the government gave permission to launch a 
number of newspapers of radio stations. 

2. Add to this an increasing number of newspapers found their 
way to the market. 

3. The internet and smart mobile phones become very common. 

The above three points cover the wide space provided by the 
different means used by the media .this large space needed to be 
filled. Here comes the fourth point. 

4. A number of Sudanese expatriates working, in a broad, in 
particular , in certain Arab countries ,came back home loaded 


with a gigantic load of religious zeal. High among their agenda, 
was the need stop the expansion of Sufism in the world in 
general, and in Sudan particular. The cause of the dispute 
between them and Sufism lies within the circle of FANATICS 
against MODERATES. 

The favorite item in the propaganda against Sufism is the claim 
that Sufi Shaykhs can only attract poor and uneducated people 
because these are simple minded people. Built on the followers 
of Sufism as simple people is to suggest that Sufi Shaykhs 
exploit these simple people financially 

Nothing can be far from the truth. (A) if these people, generally 
poor, they can be immune from being exploited financially 
since they have nothing to give (B) The survey done by 
Dr. Salih shows that almost 90%of the areas where those 
Shaykhs started their “ khalwas ” i.e Quran schools are in the 
country not in towns or even in big villages. Most of those 
schools started in remote areas away from the towns and in the 
middle of the places populated by nomads and fanners who are 
definitely poor. Here, in these remote place Sufi Shaykhs lived 
and started their 44 khalwas ” One has to mention that students in 
44 khalwas pay no fees. They live in the area cc khalwa” and given 


free food and education in Islamic religion . Usually these 
places chosen by the Shaykhs are places forgotten by 
government planning which, generally , does not include in its 
agenda any building of school. So the only possible means of 
education available to these poor people is providing by Sufi 
Shaykhs .And speaking of poor people , recent statistics 
published in newspapers put the number of people who are 
classified as poor in the Sudan to be almost 50%of the total 
population in the country . Now we ask those who criticize 
Sufism for being working within the poor if not for Sufi 
Shaykhs who would have taught those people reading and 
writing the Quran and other religious subjects like 
interpretation of the Quran and HadJth of the prophet “peace be 
upon him” ? Here we are talking about the educational needs of 
a very large number of people living outside the education plan 
of the government. 

At this present juncture we may need to consider the claim 
made by critics of Sufism that Sufism attracts the poor and the 
uneducated . This definitely contradicts well proven. 

Observations of the stark naked facts. Sufism , in general ,and 
Sammaniyya tariqa in particular ,have followers today . Who 

cover the different levels in the financial, educational and 
welfare strata. It is true that among the followers of the 
Sammaniya tariqa there are uneducated people who are 
followers of the Sufi tanqa. Some of these educated are very 
highly educated. Among them are university professors, 
medical doctors , engineers , teachers super high government 
officials as well as very successful business people and very 
rich men and women inside and outside Sudan . The 
Sammaniyya tariqa and other Sufi tariqas definitely 
succeeded in attracting followers who cover the wide spectrum 
of human society. Today their membership includes the poor 
and the rich; the uneducated and the highly educated; 
unemployed and the highly employed, the membership of the 
tariqa includes men and women ;young and old, you will find 
all the social branches of the human society present under the 
guidance of a Sammaniyya Sufi Shaykhs or the Shaykhs of 
another Sufi tariqa. 

This should not come to any one as a surprise . Tariqa Shuyukh 
are, usually , educated .Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib, the founder 
of Sammaniyya tariqa in Sudan was a great lover of education 
. Reading his biography you will come across the names of the 
numbers of the people who taught him . This may sound 


normal to you . However , you need to know that those teachers 
did not come to his village to teach him. He had to travel , when 
he was very young , from one location to another and had to 
stay in the village of his chosen teacher for months ,if not more. 
After finishing the prescribed course he moves again to a 
different Shaykh to learn something different. His biography 
tells you that he stayed seven years in al-Madina al-Manawara 
to leam from his teacher Shaykh Muhammad al-Sammani . You 
will also, read that he made teaching part of his life . What is 
more, he knew that he had acquired very rich and precious 
knowledge that humanity can benefit from Because of this he 
turned his attention to writing . Every educated person knows 
that written works are not equal in depth and value. Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib wrote about the precious and valuable in 
human knowledge . For him that was to write about Allah. How 
to do dhikr for Him. How to seek the crown of ALL 
KNOWELEDGE. That is the knowledge of ALLAH. 

Many Shaykhs in Sammaniyya tariqa attempted to do some of 
the same. They wrote in prose as well as in verse. Beautiful 
poems were composed . Their massages varied. The poems 
tacked subjects which dealt with showing the way to know all 
about Allah. They also attempted issues concerning the prophet 


“peace be upon him And they described in their writings the 
best method to resist ugly temptations and propagate good 
behavior. Shaykh al-Burai ,a famous Sammani Shaykh has 
written more than 1000 poems, most of the poems are published 
.No one can claim that the man who wrote those poems is 
uneducated .Shaykh Muhammad Suroor “from Tabat centre of 
Sammaniyya” is about to finish along poem which deals with 
Islamic fiqh “jurisprudence” . In this poem he addresses the 
issue of the different point covered in “fiqlT and discusses 
them. His grand-grandfather Alustaz Shaykh Abd al -M a hmoud 
Nur al-Da'im preceded him in writing a comprehensive poem 
about the rudiments and the most important element related to 
the centrality of the idea of the oneness of Allah Almighty in 
Islam . As mentioned Sammaniyya Shaykhs were/are known for 
their interest in education. Dr Salih tells you that Shaykh al- 
Yaqoot’s personal library contains more than 10,000 books and 
magazines that cover religion, astronomy and science . In this 
book you will read that Shaykh professor Hassan al-Fatih 
Qaribullah worked as the president of Omdruman Islamic 
University . This present book mentions that he wrote more than 
100 books on different subjects. 


Books can be about simple straight forward subjects which any 
ordinary person who can read and write will be able to 
understand their message. On the other hand, there are books 
which tackle complex issues. The degree of complexity 
involved depends on the degree of depth the writer attempts to 
invite his reader to experience when he reads the book. Shaykli 
Ahmadal-Tayyib has written books that can be digested by any 
educated person and, on the other hand, he wrote books that 
demand adequate background knowledge and great diligence on 
the part of the reader . An example of the latter is “ kitab 
alhikam ” i.e The book of wise sayings. He followed this with 
his book “Shark Alhikam” i.e . The subject of the book is about 
one of the core areas that Sufism attempts to help people to 
come to grip with, namely , the idea that Allah is one and there 
is no other God but Allah . Shaykh Abdal -Mahmoud Nur al- 
Dam (the founder of Tabat centre of the S am m an i y y a tariqa ) 
has written a very comprehensive interpretation of his 
grandfather's Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib book “ kitab alhikm ” it 
is a massive book which covers two volumes (almost one 
thousand pages ) .The title of this book is “ Rawd almany wa 
Majalis alauns was altahany : Shark alhikam al-Tyayihiya ” i.e 


The Garden of Meanings: interpretation of the Tayyib's 
Wise sayings. 

Shaykli Abd al -Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im is widely known among 
Sufi and non -Sufi students in Sudan as well as in other countries 
.He is generally referred to as “ alustaz ” i.e . The Master or 
TheTeacher. He is definitely the only Sufi Shaykh who is 
known by this title “ Alustaz ” . This is not without good reason, 
ever since he founded Tabat as his place of residence and 
teaching he gained the reputation as a scholar. All those who 
came to know him were struck by one and the same idea : that 
Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud was a very learnt person and a very 
extraordinary scholar . He produced eighty five books (85 
books). The method he used in his composition of books was 
definitely unique and there is no report that it has been done in 
the same way whether before or after Alustaz Shaykli Abd al- 
Mahmoud. This is how he used to do it. He would sit down with 
five of his students. Each student would have his pen and 
notebook ready. Then Alustaz Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud would 
start dictating five different books on different and diverse 
subjects; one book to each student. He would dictate books on 
TaSawwuf fiqh i.e jurisprudence, one or two poetry books. 
Another book on “ tafseer ” i.e . Interpretation of Quran and so 


on . The books he produced in any subject are/were considered 
as mature, rich and full. He was one of the first Sudanese 
scholars to write a full -fledged book i.e. not just an essay on 
travel literature. His book “ aldura althameena fi akhbar 
alrihlaila makkah was almadiena ” i.e. The precious jewel in 
the story of the trip to Mecca and al-Madina is an example of 
travel literature . This book is also referred to as “ alrihla 
alhijazza ’i.e. The Trip to Hijaz. 

In the area of biography he composed a book which became 
very famous. This is “ azaheer alriyad” i.e. The Flowers of 
Gardens. This is a well-known book. It is famous within two 
conflicting circles. It is well accepted and celebrated by those 
who adhere to the Sufi tariqas. On the other hand, it is 
continuously criticized by adherents of an extreme Islamic 
group .One major point of difference is about the concept of 
“ karama ” this refers to supernatural deeds which are performed 
by human being who are not prophets. Sufi adherents believe 
that some gifted Shaykhs are capable of performing karama . 
The other group is a group famous for its extremism and 
fanaticism. Hence , it is not surprising that it finds karama hard 
to believe and hence criticizes and ridicules the many stories 
found in “ azaheer alriyad" which contain examples of karama 


performed by this or that Sufi Shaykh whose biography is given 
in the book . 

This is neither the place nor the occasion to give a 
comprehensive view of the idea of karama in Islam . It is 
enough to point out that karama is a well-known concept in 
Islam . Since the early days of Islam a number of the 
companions of the prophet ‘peace be upon him” were reported 
to have been associated with one or more stories which can be 
described as supernatural. Hence, they are classified as karama . 
One does not need to say that those companions of the prophet 
‘peace be upon him” and those who came after them were not 
prophets. They were simple very good people who were 
endowed with the capability to perform unnatural deeds. Since 
performing of karama is a very well documented phenomenon 
in Islam since its infant days one understand the logic behind 
the rejection of extremists to the stories related to some Sufi 
Shaykh who were reputed to have performed karama. 

One last point about karama in relation to the Sufi thought is 
that karama is not any way central to the Sufi tariqa s. It is not 
the job of th eSufi Shaykh to perform karama in fact karama 
has a minor incidental position within the greater scope of 
Sufism . Its position in the hierarchy of the essential requirement 


does not promote or demote the Sufi ideas karama performing 
is definitely not a target or a must -have characteristic of any 
Sufi Shaykli neither today nor in the past . Furthermore, karama 
perfonning is not teachable. It is God - given. So if a certain 
Shaykli performs a kardrna Sufi scholars do not attribute that 
performance to the particular Shaykli but to Allah Almighty. All 
this being said it remains a fact that many Sufi Shaykli were 
witnessed by multitudes of people to perform karama .whether 
people believe this or deny it or ridicule it, karama performed 
by Sufi Shaykhs in the past and in this present day is well 
known within the Sammaniyya tariqa and other tdriqa within 
and outside Sudan . It is a very common phenomena. Denying it 
remain to be an unexplainable practice in the face of concrete 
evidence that karama is not the work of imagination or fiction 
or cinematic illusion . Karama was witnessed by many 
watchers in areas which did not enjoy an ounce of scientific 
innovation, karama was widely documented in places where 
even electricity is unknown. 

Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan , a grandson of Alustaz 
Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im says that the best karama that 
should be perfonned today is to follow the right path , the 
straight path that leads one to know about Allah Almighty this 


is based on the idea that in today is world with all the usual 
agents of evil besieging Man anyone who can escape their 
clutches would be performing a type of kararna . The traditional 
members of the circle of evil were gluttony, envy, anger 
temptation etc. Today agent of evil become adept at the art of 
propagating massive evil through the help of extremism and 
fanaticism. Therefore escaping from all those agents would be a 
feat no- less than performing a big- scale kararna. 

Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jaylli, son of Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al- 
Da’im, and his caliph in Tabat did not write a books or long 
poems. Instead, he wrote a few short poems. However, each of 
these poems could be taken as a well written abstract for a 
magnificent and thorough book on the subject of behaving 
according to the manifesto set forward by Islam as handed 
down through centuries from its two main sources of code, 
namely , the Quran and sayings of prophet “peace be upon him” 

Today , any seeker of an all -inclusive and informative book on 
Sufism would be well -advised to get hold of the books written 
by Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan grandson of Alustath 
Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im and his second caliph in the 
Sammniyya center at Tabat .His most famous book is 
“Nadharat fi al-TaSawwuf al-Islam i” ,i.e Views on Islamic 


Mysticism . This is an encyclopedic work extends to cover 
seven volumes .Each volume has a different title and extends to 
more than 450 pages .This work is not commonplace book on 
the subject of Sufism . The least that could be said to describe it 
is to say that it is both comprehensive and an in depth treatment 
of the subject .Definitely, it is not an elementary or intermediate 
analysis or discussion. It is as demanding and mind -bogging as 
advanced and extremely serious work can be . This is an 
encyclopedic endeavour that can stand alone in defense of the 
legitimacy and centrality of the idea of Sufism in Islam . The 
only person who could try to demolish the grandiose status of 
this fantastic piece of scholarly product is the ignorant and 
jealous. No real educated scholar will ever come to deny its 
supremacy and its intellectual peak reaching credence. If any 
book written by man in relation to TaSawwuf can ever be 
perfect, then ‘ nadharat fi al-TaSawwuf al-Islam y” is a nominee. 
No wonder the Islamic University of Omdurman has awarded 
Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan the degree of PhD for this 
excellent book. 

Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan has authored a number of 
other books. They include poetry books in addition to two very 
important ones. The first one is “ Ijaalat alfikr fi rna Yathbut bihi 


al-Sawm waalfitf’ i.e Pondering on the Question of Deciding 
the First and last Day of Ramadan. This has always been 
issue and cause of heated debates among serious Muslim 
scholars. In this book Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan set a 
very clear system for people to follow. His system had firm 
bases in Islamic jurisprudence, science and Astronomy. Shaykh 
al-Hafyan also wrote what could be described as a monumental 
work in the subject of exquisite and lofty human behaviour . 
This is his book ”alwasiyya ” i.e The Bequest . The book 
became a best seller and now its 13 th edition is about to be 
printed. Five years ago the book was translated into English 
language and published 

The survey given above is to put straight the record on 
education within the Sufi enclave .No fair educated judge would 
fail to validate the claim that Sufism ,in general , and the 
Sammaniyya tariqa in particular are at home with learning. 
Sufists do not just aspire to the basic levels of learning and 
education but to most demanding levels of education and 
knowledge. The accusation that Sufism is a religious practice 
that befits only the deprived and the ignorant, is a crippled 


This book by Dr. Salih , gives the reader a good chance to find 
ont about the Sammaniyya tariqa and its work to elevate the 
quality of the lives of its adherents. The author clarifies many 
issues which have clouded the minds of many fine and well 
equipped observers. One cannot say more about the excellent 
timing of the writing of this book in English. Its place in the 
shelves of bookshops and libraries is empty and readers must be 
impatient for its publication. This book will be of great help to 
those who are interested in the question of Sufism , in general 
and in Sammaniyya toriqa in particular. It will answer some of 
the many questions which occurred to interested parties in the 
past as well as to those in the present who still need clarification 
of important points. If the book could do this, and 1 am sure it 
will, then it has succeeded in illuminating the path for a deeper 
understanding of the subject it addressed. 

Shaykh al-Jaylli Abd al -Mahmoud al-Hafyan 

Tabat Centre of the 

14 - 12 -2014 



This book "The Sammanniyya, Doctrine, History and Future” is 
a unique piece of research written by a dedicated scholar, Dr. 
Abdul-Jaleel Salih, an assistant professor of English at Al- 
Jazeera University. The book is composed of eight chapters; 
each chapter covers a particular aspect of the book. The book 
gives a comprehensive definition of Sufism and its introduction 
and spread in the Sudan. The Sammaninniya Tariqa in the 
country is thoroughly explored and its distinctive features are 
clearly highlighted and explained. Al-Shaikh Ahmad Attayib, 
the leader of this Triqa , and his numerous students are properly 
portrayed in the book and their contributions in guiding people 
are indicated. In the final chapter, the author tries to forecast the 
future of this Tariqa in the country. Obviously, the author has 
put a tremendous effort in conducting this important piece of 
research. A considerable amount of very well documented 
information is carefully sought and scientifically used to enrich 
and support this important historical document. It goes without 
saying that the author's sophist orientation as well as his deep 
knowledge of the Sammanniyya Tariqa have provided the 
necessary fuel required to conduct this scholarly work. The 
book is written in clear impeccable English and this could give 


this document a special significance and can nominate it for an 
international status. I personally feel that this work represents a 
real addition to Islamic library and I suggest that the Ministry Of 
Culture and Information should have the honor and shoulder the 
responsibility of publishing this book and make it accessible in 
all universities and public libraries. 

Professor Abdul-Majeed Attayib 
Sudan - Khartoum 
2 -July -2015 



This book traces the history of the Sammaniyya Sufi order from 
its direct origin in al-Madina al-Munawara in 1718, following 
its earlier history, doctrine and future. The book has eight 
chapters. The opening chapter gives brief account about Sufism , 
its early beginning, definition, and its relation to Islam . Chapter 
two sheds light on the history of Islam in Sudan, and the impact 
of tasawwuf in the process of the Islamization of the Country. 
Whereas chapter three focuses on the Sammaniyya, the concept, 
history, the life of its founder Shaykh Muhammad b. 'Abd al- 
Karim al-Samman (1718-1775), the doctrine of the tariqa and 
its spread around the world. Chapter four devotes to the arrival 
of the tariqa to Sudan, the life and teachings of its pioneer 
Ahmad al-Tayyib (1742-1824). Chapter five 
concentrates on the story life of the earliest students of the qutb 
in the Sudan mainly Shaykh Ahmad al-Basir (d.1780), Shaykh 
al-QurashT w. al-Zayn (d.1880), Shaykh Muhammad Tom 
w.Bannaqa' (d. 1 85 1 ), and Shaykh Hasib al-Kubawi. Chapter six 
dedicates to the Students of the Shaykh Ahmed's al-Tayyib 
students, or what it might be called the third generation of the 
tariqa. The distinctive features of the tariqa carries the title for 
chapter seven. And finally chapter eight examines the future of 


the fanqa. A number of academics have written excellent 
introductions to Sufism that have been useful to me in providing 
basic references and view of the general theme of the concept. 
Some recent publications have been of particular interest, such 
as those by, Annemarie Schimmel (Schimmel (1975), Martin 
Lengs (1975), Muhammad Ansari (1985), Hasan Abu Hanieh 
(2011), Ernst (Ernst 1997), Ahmad Busari &K.Kamarudin 
(2007), Geoffroy (Geoffroy2009). Muhammad Kandhelwi 
(2011) and Farida Khanama (2009). Several historians, 
researchers as well intellectuals come to point to the great 
influential role, that played by Sufis in the spread of Islam in 
Sudan, and then their unquestionable religious, social, 
educational, economic and cultural impact they have left in 
Sudanese life (Trimingham 1965, Daly 1971, Tuner 1979, al- 
Mahdi 1985, Metz 1991, Abdr-Rhaim 1991, el-Affendi 1991, el- 
Hasan 1993, Warburg 1992, Manger 1993, McHugh 1993, 
O'Eahey 1994, Haider 1999, Holt 2000, Karrar 2000, Fadal 
2003, Ahmad2003, Fadal Allah 2004, el-Obeid 2005, Bushra 
2005, Sercay 2008, Lobban 2010, Turabi 2012). 

The Sammaniyya is one of the most famous, Sufi orders in the 
Islamic world. Its founder is the highly charismatic Muhammad 
b. Abd al-Karim al-Samman (1 132/1718 to 1 189/1775), who was 


bom in Medina, to family of Quraish. Al-Samman spent much 
of his life in Medina, and stayed at the historic house, owned by 
our master Abu-Bakr al-Siddiq(573-634), the first caliph to the 
prophet (PBUH). So, he lived and died in Medina. And his 
grave is in the Baqi, the oldest cemetery of the city, which 
indicates that, he was held in great respect, in his native town, 
as it was great honour to be granted, a last resting- place- there, 
so close to the graves of the prophets wives, and many 
celebrities of Yore(see chapter 3 p: 11 5). The writers of the 
Sammaniyya have pointed out, that the Sammaniyya is a 
terminological name for a number of tiiruq of which the main 
five orders are (Qadiriyya, Khalwatiyya, Naqshbandiyya, 
kinqat al-Anfas, andTariqat al-Muafaqa,(sQQ p.164). Shaykh 
Muhammadal-Sammanis Khalwati, for he is student of Shaykh 
MuStafa b. Kamal Adin al-Bakrl (1687-1748). In addition he 
wore the mantle of the Qadiriyya, at the hand of the muhadith, 
the leading hadith scholar, the mufti of the Madina al- 
Munwara, Shaykh Muhammad Tahir al-Kurdi (1312.1400 
A.H). Muhammad al-Samman (1718-1775) was a famous 'alim 
and mystic, teaching in Madina. He was initiated into various 
other tiiruq besides the Khalwatiyya (notably the Qadiriyya, 
Naqshbandiyya, and Shadhiliyya), and combined elements from 


all of these into his own distinctive Khalwatiyya branch, which 
is usually called Sammaniyya (see Grandin 1985: 173 -5). Several 
of words of wisdoms and good tidings, have been attributed to 
al-Samman, of these his sayings: 'And whoever took my fariqa, 
and read my wasilah, and my prayer Nuqtat Dai rat al-Wjud , the 
centre circle of the existence, I will put him in the way of the 
messenger of Allah (PBUH)'. Al-Samman authored several 
books, invocations, and litanies, but the most famous, which 
read by his followers around the world is his, Jaliyat al-Kurbi 
wa Manilat al-Arb . The invocation begins with: 

allAhu ya ’allAhu ya ’allAhu 
YA MALJA’ ’ALQASIDi ya ghawthAhu 
A llah O Allah O Allah: O You The shelter for those 
Who ever come to you. O my succour 
We call on You and we are in real need for Your help. 

We entreat to You by all attributes of Yours, by the 


Al-Samman had numerous students from Maghrib , the Sudan 
and Eretria, the Hadramawt , Afghanistan and Indonesia. And 
recently murids in America, UK, have been accounted for 
him. Several of al-Samman students formed important Sufi 
brotherhoods to disseminate his ideas and tradition. Among the 
most famous as well the important centres of the Sammaniyya, 
is in Sudan. 

The Sammaniyya considers one of the revivalist movements 
which appeared in the Arab peninsula, during the second half of 
the 18 th century. The tariqa was born in Hijaz but very rapidly 
gained pre-eminence across the Muslim World. The emergence 
of the Muhammad b. Abd al-Wahab (1703-1792), then his 
Wahhabism movement, and with its hostile doctrine towards 
Sufism, negatively and by the passing of the time has affected 
the Sammaniyya in its birthplace i.e el -Hijaz. 

The Sammaniyyain the Sudan represents one of the most 
important Sufi turuq in modem Sudan. The importance of the 
Sammaniyya lies in the fact that, it is one of the Sufi turuq that 
shaped the nature of Islam in Sudan. Moreover, it reflects the 
process of Sudanization of an orthodox Sufi-Ulamd" tariqa that 


was founded in Hijaz'.The order spread its wings in all corners 

of Sudan. One is not apt to find a single town or village, except 

that the Sammaniyya has devotees and lovers within it. The 

tariqa has great contribution in Sudan, since was introduced 

into the Funj territories by a Sudanese disciple, Ahmad al- 

Tayyib b. al-Bashir", who was initiated in Medina by al- 

Sammani himself about the year 1757-8. After much travelling, 

he returned to the Sudan 2 . The family of Shaykli al-Tayyib is 

one of the most prominent and long-established clans of 

religious notables in Sudan. Ahmad al-Tayyib is known as one 

of the most prolific Sufi revivalist, in the history of Islam in 

Sudan. His biography infonns that ‘He is Ahmad al-Tayyib b. 

Mawlai al-Bashir b. Malik, b. al-ustaz Muhammad Surur, the 

Abbasi, the Sammani in his tanqa , and Maliki in madhab'. 

Master Ahmad al-Tayyib was bom at Umm- Marrih, north of 

Omdurman in (1155-1742/3 -1239-1824 AH). His mother was 

Ruqayya bt. Rahama b. Muhammad Surur; his father, who was 

also his mother's cousin, was al-Bashir b. Malik b. Muhammad 

^mani Mohammad El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan, 
unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of Khartoum, faculty of 
Economic and Social Studies, 1997, p:i. 

2 Richard Gray. The Cambridge History of Africa, Volume 4, from 1600-1790. 
CUP. 1979, P.70. 


Surur 3 . Ahmad al-Tayyib was to infuse a new spirit into 
Sudanese Sufism, leading to a renewed emphasis, not only on 
such practical aspects as dhikr (recital) and madih (songs of 
praise) but also on the philosophy of Sufism. Ahmad felt the 
need for reform, and began to make contact, with the leading 
Shaykhs of his day, seeking to persuade them, to unite under his 
leadership, to revive its (the land's) people 4 . Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib has visited Hijaz, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jerusalem, as well 
many Sudanese cities and villages (Qarib Allah 2004)'. Several 
words of wisdom had attributed to him, like his saying: 'Do not 
love a man who performs outward kardmdt, and leads the 
people therewith; he corrupts His religion and will of a certainty 
return to his master’ (see chapter 4p. 190). Of his speech (may 
Allah be pleased with him), his saying: ’In the prophetic 
communion, the prophet (PBUH), never addressed me, except 
with al-Tayyib my son’. Also, of his speech ’I was in a hadrah, 
with all the awaliya, a call from Almighty (SWT) said: ’O the 
folk of awalya , al-Tayyib is among your Sultans'. And of his 

Abd al-Mahamoud Nur al-Da'im. Al-Kuus al-Mutra fi Maniqib al-Sada al- 
Arba, 2008 , p.109. 

4 Ali, SalihKarrar. SufT Brotherhood in Sudan. Hurst. London. 1992/ 

Abd al-Mahamoud Nur al-Da'im. Azahir al-Ryiad fi Manaqib al-arif 

bi 'll ah al -Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib . 1 965, p. 1 76. 


recorded sayings is "For every wall there is a path from {one 
of} the names {of God}; for me they are all paths". Again, 
"Today your Shaykli (Ahmadal-Tayyib) is the Shaykh of all 
Shaykhs". And again, "The Messenger of God- may God bless 
and grant Him peace- has not been veild from me an instant. I 
have not said or done anything without His permission'. "No 
one today is as close as I to the Messanger of God 6 '. 

Ahmad al-Tayyib is not only a Sufi Shaykli of tariqa , but he is 
scholar and writer. In this concern he wrote prolifically; in fact, 
a voluminous and unprecedented producer of writings was 
diagnostics of his generation, though he stood out of clearly 
from the rest in this regard. The bulk of his works treated 
mystical themes'. Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib has written 
numbers of books, prayers supplications. Out of the many noted 
authored books is that masterpiece known as: Kitab al-Hikam 
al-Musama'a bi Ijawher al-freed fi Hem al-Wuhda wa al- 
low hi-d. Shortly, kitab al-Hikam al-Tayyibiyya, which comes 
into sixty-six wisdom. Ahmad al-Tayyib enjoys numerous 
nicknames; they all denote the exalted rank of his walyyia and 
spiritual sublime status among the Awliyd': Jebal elixir, the 

6 Neil McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile:The Making of an Arab- Islamic 
Community in the Nilotic, 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern University 
Press 1994. P.138. 

mountain of elixir. al-Sultan, the Sultan. al-Oawth , the helper, 
al-qutb, the pole. Rajil Um-Marrih , the man of Um-Marrih. 

In the academic circles, mainly the historical researches and 
Sufism studies, the Sammaniyya is seen as a reformist, renewal 
tariqa, (Abdelwahid 2008, Robinson 2004, el-Obeidl997 and 
2005, Karrar 2000, O'Fahey 1993, el-Affendi 1991). 

Meanwhile, and with less effort, following the different 
readings, which connected with the Sammaniyya , through 
varied epochs, it is noticeable that the history of the tariqa , 
mainly on the writings of the western historians as well the 
researchers, had gone synonymous with the personality of Imam 
al-Mahdi (1823-1885), who sprang from the teachings of the 
tariqa , and once a Sammani Shaykh , through his teacher al- 
Qurashi (d.1880). Therefore, the Sammaniyya for 
many westerners deemed a militant as well political activist 

The Sammaniyya attracts adherents from a variety of social 
classes, cultural backgrounds and age groups, particularly 
youth. 'Divisions and competition among the Sufis enabled 
Ahmad w. al-Bshir to attract initiates from all places, families 
and tariqas, but in so doing, he also became heir to this very 


fragmentation. He may have been "Shaykli of all Shaykli s" in a 
spiritual sense .The travel of the Shuyukh of the tariqa , for 
seeking ilm and the Sufi pledge, and then returning equipped 
with what they had learnt, and their engaging in propagating 
the teachings of the their Shuyukh , through opening schools, 
khalwas, and perfonning the tariqa 's rites and traditions, in 
these new sites. All these have greatly contributed in the 
widespread of the Sammaniyya . The poetic as well the prose 
production, chiefly the oral poetry such as madih ; have 
considerable contribution in the process of the tariqa spreading, 
in this juncture the poems of al-Makawi (d. 1 943), Shaykli Abd 
al-Mahmoud (d. 19 15), Shaykli Qarib Allah (d. 1 936), Shaykli 
al-Burai (1923-2005), Shaykh Muhammad al-Sabonabi 
(11898- 1984), Shaykli Hashim (1905-1969), Shaykh Birayer 
(b.l 824) and the poets of the masid of Omaidan, just to name a 

7 Neil McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab- Islamic 
Community in the Nilotic, 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern University 
Press. 1994: 140) 

interview with al-Haj Abd al-Qadir Hamdan, Amarat Shaykh Haju, 1, 10, 

few left its mark in the way of the dissemination of the tariqa. 
Moreover, the variety of the tariqa litanies as well the 
remembrances were also deemed an encourageable factor 
behind its widespread among the Sudanese. From another hand 
the spread out of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib sons and grandsons, 
in the all comers of the country as well outside, and then their 
intermarried with the scattered varied tribes across the Sudan, 
greatly comes to contribute in the dissemination of the tariqa 
teachings. Lastly it could be said that, the immense striving as 
well the sincere struggle in devotion, have found to be plain 
proofed factor of its successful spread 9 . Sammaniyya is 
decentralized tariqa ,'Wlien it came to practice, the Sudanese 
Sammaniyya resembled the Egyptian Khalwatiyya- Bakriyya 
(as well as many pariqas) in not subordinating its various 
branches and lodges, to systematic direction from the centre. 
Reverence to Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib was not a negligible 
force for cohesion; and his reformist ideas and precepts did give 
the body, of his followers’ greater drive and direction, than the 
older affiliations'. To the view of Hasan Maki, the Sudanese 
historian, the Sammaniya Sufi order has played a very great 
role. Within that great role it has different activities cover all 

interview with Abbas al-Haj, university of Khartoum, 29, 9, 2013. 


aspects of life, religion, education, health and social relations. 
Its contributions in the Sudanese setting are so obvious. The 
Sammaniyya is the oldest tarlqa that fonn the Sudanese 
mentality, and continued to practice the guidance, and providing 
taslik, in Funj State for about forty years’. Maki went on to add ' 
the Sammaniyya, grew with multi centres, and became one of 
the greatest turuq in the contemporary Sudan; as well it wins 
the biggest scientific, spiritual and literary library' 10 . Concerning 
the social impact of the Sammaniyya. ‘It could be said that, the 
Sammaniyya, is the most Sudanese tiarTqa of followers, and has 
the most influential impact on the social sphere, with the most 
abundant production, in the literary as well the spiritual sphere. 
The Sammaniyya, could be considered a progressive branch of 
the Qadiriyya, but enjoys its own autonomy, at the same time. 
The Sammaniyya distinguished with its, concern with Sufi elite 
thinking, writings, and editing in this field'. In fact the 
Sammaniyya, upon its arrival had found, the atmosphere ready, 
and this helps, in its expansion and spreading. Upon its entering 
the Sudan, the Sammaniyya based on presenting, the example, 
showing the model as a doctrine of daw ah, and proselytizing 
techniques. The Sammaniyya's Shuykh introduced themselves, 


See chapter five, p. 


as religious scholars, and men of tasawwuf, have the methods in 
education, social reforming and change, on Islamic bases. 
Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib was enjoyed with all the qualities, 
which made him, qualified to play all the leading roles. The 
Sudanese accepted the Sammaniyya, as with what, were 
appeared on them of science, and their own concern to it. 
Mainly on what related to the Qur'an, and the other sciences of 
the shari'a 11 . The bulk of the Sammaniyya centres, which were 
established, in the Sudan, have the positive role, in learning the 
Qur'an, and the other Islam ic sciences. And in each centre 
approximately there is a khalwa , for the memorization of the 
Qur'an'. ' Allah Has granted, the tanqa , a divine gift, rare to be 
found, among the Sudanese families. This gift has represented 
in the ability of the eloquent linguistic expression, shown in 
composing poetry, as well books writing. This way is known to 
al-Mirghani, and al-Tijani, but through the Sammaniyya, a lot 
of poets have emerged. 'The Sammaniyya is an open Sudanese 
tanqa , since the second generation. Out of it several famous 
khulafa ", with such a high exalted status in the society have 
appeared, and outside of the family of Shaykh Ahmad al- 

ir Tariq Ahmed Osman. Al-Tariqah al-Sammaniyyah wa athrah al-Dini wa 
ll’jitmaifi U’Sudan 1766- 1955. PhD thesis, international African university, 
Khartoum, 2009, 2009, p. 1 33 . 


Tayyib, of those, for example: Shaykh Muhammad WaiqiAllah, 
at the area of al-Zariba, in west of Sudan, and Shaykh Sharif al- 
Kliatim at Karkog, at the Blue Nile, and Shaykh Muhammad 
Shatoot at Medani, Shaykh MuhammadTSm, at the central of 
Sudan, and his student Shaykli Birayer at White Nile" . 

The doctrine of the Sammaniyya does not perceive Sufi 
doctrines as separate from the basic teachings of Islam . Rather, 
they are meditations that explore the deeper meanings and 
ramifications of these teachings: Believing in Allah, His angels, 
His revealed books, His messengers and prophets, belief in the 
last day, belief in divine destiny, both its good and evil 
consequences. Strict adherence to prophet Muhammad 
(PBUH), with self-determination to behave and this in 
accordance with the teachings of the Qur'an. Sincere abiding 
with the Shaykhs' educational method based on the Qur'an and 
the prophetic Sunnah , avoiding all the vices. Respectfulness to 
elders, showing mercy to youngsters, and obedience to the 
spiritual qualified Shaykli on what pleases Allah. Strong self- 
determination to perform voluntary prayers. Pledge to fulfill 
the covenant of Allah, follows His Sharia and abstain from His 
prohibitions plight. And working sincerely for imposing the law 
of Allah. 


The philosophy of As-Samrnaniyyah is founded on dhikr 
'invocation, riyidah 'practice, hunger, Khalwah seclusion and 
tawu 'humility. The essential part in this tariqah is that the 
initiate should always remember the greatness of Allah. This is 
considered important since the remembrance of Allah's 
greatness is a factor in bringing the self under the control of the 
spirit. The follower should also empty his heart completely of 
all secular things and should consider the world as if it didn't - 
exist at all. The stress in this tariqah is on the heart. This is 
partly because the Sufis consider the heart as superior to the 
brain' 12 

In his masterpiece Azahir al-Ryiad; the flowers of Orchards 
(1954: 102), Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im (1845- 
1915), has stated two ways for taking bia'a, in the Sammaniyya 
Sufi order. In the very same book Shaykh , writes informing 
about the assets or the base of the tariqa. According to him, 
there are of three categories come as follow: small, middle and 
grand. The following should be read and performed after each 
of the obligatory five daily prayers, Astaghfir Allah al-ghafur 

See Khadiga, A, Karrar, Aspects of Sufism in the Sudan, 1975, p: 74, & 
Hasan al-Fatih, Al-Dur al-Dini wa al-Gitimai wa al-Fikeri ( 11' tariqa Al- 
Sammaniyyah). Muhanad. M. A. Khartoum, 2004, p: 46. 


Ar-Raheem , I pray for the forgiveness of Allah, the Oft- 
Forgiving, the Most Merciful. Allahuma Salli ala Sayyidina 
Muhammed wa'ala alibi wa sallim , O Allah, praise our Master 
Muhammad and his family, and grant them peace. La illaha ilia 
Allah , There is no God except Allah, Ya Allah , O Allah Ya Hu, 
O He (see p.80). While out of the so many litanies of the tariqa , 
that read in its different branches, is ratibal-Sa'da , the litany of 
happiness, composed by the founder Ahmad al-Tayyib. 

The ultimate goal of the tariqa is to lead murids from the stage 
of one's love of Allah, {and by following His beloved prophet 
(PBUH)}, to the stage of being loved by Allah, of course by the 
grace of Allah, which is the greatest happiness:" Say: if you love 
Allah, follow me and Allah will love you, and forgive your sins, 
for Allah is Oft- Forgiving, the most Merciful" . 

What distinctive features in the Sammani doctrines and 
propagations methods as seen by the interviewees as well the 
references that being consulted by the author are found in the 
abiding by the Qur'an, the sunnah, and shari ’ a \ adding to ilm 
and knowledge, the birthplace of the tariqa at a l -Madina al- 
Munawara, and then the charismatic personalities of the 
founders of the tariqa , were found the main distinctive features, 

counted in favour of the Sammaniyya's dissemination in Sudan 
and outside world. The future of the fanqa is promising. 'To my 
view, the future of the tariqa is linked with future of the 
fasawwuf . ’ generally in Sudan. The future of fasawwuf 
indicates, the future for the tariqa , that because the essence of 
the Sammaniyya, is the one of that of real essence of fasawwuf. 
'I see the future for Sufism , and not for any other sect, that all 
Sufi orders now have the tendency toward the universality' . 
(al-Hadi 2013, al-Hafyan, Ali 2013, al-Nur, al-Hajj, Malik 2013, 
Hamdan 2013). 

On the attempt of documenting to the lives of the figures that 
have been recorded to, the writer has followed the selective 
method. Thus, the personalities which have been come through 
the pages of the book, in most cases represent the most 
prominent figures in the history of the farlqa . In fact the 
preference is Godly-divine matter; the measuring is a concrete 
one, based on the senses, and the living reality. In most cases 
the founder of the fariqa's branch is chosen, in addition to the 
current khalifa , of the very same branch, however, if the book 
tried to document to the whole branches of the farlqa , this no 

’^Interview with Abbas al-Haj, Khartoum, 29, 9, 2013. 


doubt need several volumes , with longer periods of years. 
Therefore, the book focuses on the tariqa' main and central 

The main source for the current study of the Sammaniyya is by 
far the extremely abundant Sammani literature itself. There 
exists, however, a rich body of materials from inside the order. 
They include the scholarly works of its masters; this literature 
may be divided into two major categories, though in practice 
these are often juxtaposed in the same works. One category is 
hagiographical and biographical anecdotes concerning them. 
Each person in this chain represents an important aspect of the 
order’s heritage. Their sayings and writings, as well as 
hagiographical and biographical anecdotes concerning them, 
provide a wealth of information about the roots of the 
contemporary Sammaniyya. The tariqa saintly figures provide 
meaning for the contemporary members of the tariqa itself and 
also provide meaning for academic research, offering a 
privileged vantage point to observe the passage of time. In 
addition to the most recent source of documentation which deals 
with websites. Several of the tariqa ’s branches have Arabic 
websites. Another source of significance which helped greatly 
in writing the book is the field tours made by the author to 


different scatter branches of the Sammaniyya, and the valuable 
infonnation and data provided by the respondents, each in his 
respective place. This wealth of material allows reconstructing 
in a fairly detailed manner the history, doctrine and teachings of 
the Sammaniyya. To make the text accessible to as wide a 
readership as possible, the author handle the book through 
English, specially this maybe the first attempt tries to explore 
the world of the Sammaniyya, bearing in mind the great and 
strong presence of the tariqa, in Sudanese setting and outside. 
The Sammaniyya has reached out to people using the language, 
means and methodology of the time. 

Shaykli Abd al-Mahamoud Nur al-Da'im (1845-1915) considers 
the first noted figure documented for the Sammaniyya . His 
prolific writings represent the first exhaustive doctrinal corpus 
of the tariqa . Out of the eighty famous works that he has 
penned is Azahir al-Ryiad , the flowers of orchards, ‘ AzahTr al- 
Ryiad is his comprehensive account of the life and work of 
Ahmad al-Tayyib, of his followers, and his Sammani- Baslnr'i 
tariqa. He divides his work into the following parts: 


1 -the childhood and education of Ahmad al-Tayyib, prefaced 
by the prognostications of Sufis ("Knowers") concerning his 
future prominence 

2 -Ahmad al-Tayyib's two pilgrimages, his initiation by the 

founder of the Sammaniyya, Muhammad b. Abd al-Karim al- 

Sammani , and his propagation of the order in Egypt (pp. 40-82) 

3-the bases of the Sammaniyya: its relationship to other fariqas 
(pp. 83-131) 

4-the karamat and sayings attributed to Ahmad al-Tayyib, 
and his writings (pp. 132- 237) 

5-liis sojourn in the Gezira, his return to Umm-Marrih, 

and his death (pp.238- 82) 

6-biographical notices of 107 of his disciples and sixteen 
of his sons (pp. 283- 372) 

Still unprecedented in the history of Sufi scholarship and Arabic 
literature. He left his mark on the history of S a mmani 
thought’ 14 . 'Through his scholarship, his travels and contacts, 
Abd al-Mahmud is one of the major writers of the Nioltic 

14 Neil McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab- 
Islamic Community in the Nilotic, 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern 
University Press. 1993, p. 1 14. 


Sudan, in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries 15 . Another 
strongest Sammani personality that emerged as illustrious and 
noted writer is Hasan al-Fatih (1932-2005). 'The literary 
tradition within the descendants of Ahmad al- Tayyib has 
flourished ever since at the various Sammani centres in 
Omdunnan, Tabat and elsewhere. The Qanbiyya branch in 
Omdunnan, whose present (1993) Shaykh is Dr. Hasan 
Muhammad al-Fatih Qanb Allah, has been particularly 

effective in adapting the Sammaniyya tradition to a modem 
urban context 16 . While Shaykh al-Buri (1923-2005) appeared as 
the most influential researched figure of the tariqa. ‘Al-Zariba 
masid has done great efforts to clear out the illiteracy of a lot of 
children, who are not only those who are in the surrounding 
areas, but the children from the far away districts. It is well- 
known that illiteracy in the Sudan is over 80%, and the capacity 
of the elementary schools is far beyond the children population 
who are seven years of age, then we could notice the 
considerable contribution of such institutions, bearing in mind 
that there are many other institutions all over the Sudan. 

15 S, R, O'Fahey. Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. The writings of 
Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden. The Netherland.1994, 

16 Ibid: 8 

Secondly, if we think about the social functions which are 
carried out by Al-Zariba as an institution, we notice that it has 
many contributions in this aspect, but here within I shall direct 
the attention to very specific samples. For example this 
institution as a place being open for different ethnic groups and 
nevertheless it encourages Sudanese people without any sign of 
racial discrimination to come and unite together as Muslims in 
one social society, looking only one at the benefits that they 
could do for themselves by such unity, and all people having 
equal rights, without any differentiation on ethnic basis 
concerning marriage or work. This for sure diminishes racial 
crises. Shaykli Al-Bura'e was advocating co-operative marriage 
of more than one thousands of youth who are lodging in villages 
around Al-Zariba. This means that more than five hundred new 
families were added to the society. Also if we put in mind the 
AIDS disease which is the global illness of today. For sure this 
institution had given the society one of the disease deterrents by 
keeping the sexual need to be within the family and thus the 
community health has been served 17 . 'But the masid was also a 
centre of traditional Islamic learning, strengthening and 

17 Farah, Eisa Mohamad. Al-Zariba: A case study, published paper. Institute 
of African and Asian studies. University of Khartoum, 21-23- March, 2006, 

renewing the inherited but fragile cultural identity of these 
mostly rural Muslims. At different levels, there was the basic 
committing to memory of the Koran for elementary students, 
then the study of hadith (a narration on the life of the Prophet) 
and of fiqh law (law interpreted from the Koran by elders; not 
the more hardline shariah law) for the more mature, and, for the 
more advanced, even commentaries on the Koran and books of 
Sufism . Another famous Sammani personality deserves 
studyand investigation is the ascetic, Shaykh Muhammad 
Ahmad Abu-Ezza (b-1932), what distinguished this Sammani 
figure, is the efforts that have led to the establishment of an 
entire village of Qur'an. Um-Oshara, in the State of north 
Kordofan, between the cities of Om-Rawaba and Tandalti, 
which joined more than six thousands students of the Qur'an, as 
the most recent statistics stated. 

I have considered elements of continuity and adaptation 
between past and present doctrines and practices. The past 
targeted the birth of the farlqa , with having biographies to the 
earliest founders, while the present focusing on the current 




activities in varies branches of the tanqa, and then the future, 
how the current khulafa" of the tanqa see the future. The 
Shuyukh of the Sammaniyya have facilitated the expansion of 
their order in the West, and perpetuated a fairly traditional Sufi 
heritage in the modem world. They have done so by combining 
strong commitment to core doctrines and adaptability to 
contexts of practice. The strong commitment to the Sufi core 
doctrine, ilm , authoring and writings, in addition to the 
birthplace of the tanqa , in al-Madina and al-Munwara , with the 
strong personality of the founder and his students afterwards, 
adding to the adaptability to context of practice, were found 
reasons of the Sammaniyya expansion in Sudan and the outside 

Abdulgalil Abd Allah Salih 
1 - July- 2015 


Chapter one 

Islamic Mysticism 

Background to the concept of Sufism 

'In the rosary, or the prayer rug or the Sufi cloak. 

It is the service to God’s creatures in which, 

You will find its true meaning manifest . 

Shaykh Sa'di 

Islam is a religion that lias been sent through the last prophet 
(s.a.w) as a code of conduct. That code deals with both the 
external and internal appearances of the Muslims. According to 
the famous hadith Jibril, the angel Jibril (as) came to the 
prophet with three questions based on Islam , Iman and Ilisan. 
In this way the three constitute the external and internal aspects 
of a Muslim. From them, a field of study known as Tasawwuf or 
Sufism has emerged 19 . Sufism (tasawwuf) is the name given to 
mysticism in Islam . The term Sufism embraces the philosophy 
and practices which aim at direct communion between God and 

Tasawwuf-Part- 1 pdf. 


man, and those who practice Sufism are called Sufis 20 : There are 
different views about Sufism when it was came into existence, 
most scholars are of the opinion that the term Sufism was first 
coined by a Sufi known as Abu-Hashim Kufi. Whether the 
theories are correct or not but the fact that Sufism is not 
something that can be separated from Islam , although the word 
may have used little later. After Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), 
the imams and their Shaykhs spread the knowledge of Sufism. 
During the sixth and seventh century of the Islamic era, the way 
Sufism reached the height of its popularity, and Sufis like Ibn 
Arabi and Ruini wrote important books about the mysteries of 
gnosis and the journey towards God“ .'Within a few decades, 
under the Umayyad dynasty (661-750), headquartered with 
pompous extravagance at Damascus in modem-day Syria, Islam 
was being undermined. Not only institutionalized, its basic 
practices and beliefs were being subverted by old cultural and 
ethnic habits falsely ascribed to the Prophet. The situation only 
continued to worsen under the Abbasid dynasty (750-1258), 

Z0 Farida Khanam. An introduction to Sufism, Goods books. New Delhi, 
2009, p.7. 

2l Nasir, R. & Malik, A, Arsheed. Role and Importance Sufism in Modern 
World. International Journal of Advancements in Research &Technology, 
Volume. 2, Issue 1, January.2013:l. 


which based itself in Baghdad, Iraq. In response to this growing 
mediocrity, a number of pious souls succeeded in not only 
preserving but also further developing the spiritual power of the 
faith. This movement culminated in the rise of a distinct way of 
spiritual practice known as tasawwuf or Sufism , first emerging 
in Iraq, then spreading westward to Iran and beyond (Central 
Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia), northward into Anatolia 
(Turkey), and westward all the way from Arabia, Egypt and 
Sudan to Morocco and Spain. Mystical experience of the divine 
is also central to Sufism. Sufis are distinguished from other 
Muslims by their fervent seeking of dhcrwq , a "tasting" that 
leads to an illumination beyond standard forms of learning. 
However, the insight gained by such experience is not valid if it 
contradicts the Qur'an .During the earlier period of Islam’s 
inception, Sufism emerged as a spiritual revolution which aimed 
at refonning the nafs (the appetitive soul, corporeal self), 
disciplining it and purifying it of its vices and imbuing it with 
virtues in order to attain complete iman (faith) and the rank of 
ihsan , and working towards the spiritual requirements of the 
Hereafter. It was a religious movement whose legitimacy was 
grounded in its religiosity and in its derivation from the 


Timothy, Conyway Islam &SufTsm, Ph.D.www.enlightened-, 1991, p. 2. 


fundamental and founding Islamic references, the Holy Qur’an 
and the Prophet’s Surma, which call for zuhd (asceticism) in the 
corporeal world, piety in one’s devotion to God and salvation in 
His worship 23 . 'In its first stages, Sufism had been the 
prerogative of limited spiritual elite. From the twelfth century 
onwards it succeeded in involving the Muslim masses on a large 
scale in its network of orders. Sufi hospices were founded all 
over the Muslim world from Morocco to Central Asia. The 
Shaykh of each order, a successor of the original founder 
presided over the hospice. In this centre he taught his disciples 
(Murids) and perfonned with them the Sufi rituals of dhikr and 
Hearing Sam a' 24 . It is possible to trace back the origin of Sufism 
as far as the beginning of Islam itself. Etymologically, the term 

23 Hassan Abu-Hanieh. Sufism and Sufi Orders: God's Spiritual Paths 
adaptation and Renewal in the Context of Modernization-Friedrich-Ebert 
StiftungAmman.201 1, p.9. 

24 Babiker, O, Y & Amal Ibrahim, A Paper on The Principles of Naqshbandi 
Sufi Order. Published by majalat al-Bahth al-Jlmi, Vol 14(2). College of 
education, Sudan University for Science and Technology. Khartoum. 2013, 



Sufism refers to a wool coats worn by ascetics 23 . Sufism was not 
bom as a constituted brotherhood. It was rather a religious 
practice that emphasizes asceticism, meditation, spirituality, 
mysticism and invocations in order to reach religious ecstasy. 
After several centuries, during which it was isolated practices, 
an attempt to theorize it as a brotherhood began with thinkers 
such as' Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (1078-1166) and A1 Ghazali 
(1058-1 111) 26 . 

Ibn Khaldoun remarks that in the first three generations of Islam 
mysticism was too general to have a special name. But 'when 
worldliness spread and tended to become more and more bound 
up with the ties of this life, those who dedicated themselves to 
the worship of God were distinguished from the rest by the title 
of Sufis ' 21 . 

25 AliuoMagiga. Religion and Economic Activities in the Murids' Islamic 
Brotherhood of Touba, Senegal. Unpublished MA in Visual Cultural Studies 
Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education University of 
Tromso. Norway. 2013, p. 1 8. 

26 A, F, Ahmed Busari, KKamarudin. Introduction to Sufism. National Open 
University of Nigeria Abuja. 2007, p. 40. 

27 Martin Lengs. What is Sufism? Suhail Academy Lahore, Pakistan. 1975, 


After the death of the Prophet, his spiritual heirs clung to the 
unity so that his age, the age of excelling oneself, might be 
prolonged. With his example still fresh in their memories, they 
had no choice but to apply to themselves the Qur'an's injunction 
to him: Lower thy wing unto those that follow thee. Without in 
any way compromising itself, exaltation can ceaseto be 
exclusive where there is nothing that needs to be excluded. A 
Saint will 'lower the wing' for children because they are simple 
and unprofane, and are themselves ever seeking to 'raise the 
wing'; and it is inevitable that there should be in a Divine 
Messenger a transcendent 'parenthood' which hasnot only a 
unifying but also a simplifying and 'childifying 'effect upon his 
whole community, regardless of their years. This must not be 
taken to mean, however, that the exclusive aspect of Sufism has 
not also its roots in that age. The Prophet gave some teachings 
which were not intended to become common knowledge. The 
following Tradition which is accepted as genuine by Bukhari, 
one of the most scrupulously reliable of the traditionists, refers 
not merely, to one such teaching but to a whole category. The 
Companion Abu Hurayrah said: T have treasured in my 
memory two stores of knowledge which 1 had from the 


Messenger of God. One of them 1 have made known; but if 1 
divulged the other ye would cut my throat.' 28 
As is known Sufis throughout their history have been come to 
be link with, the wearing of wool. Therefore, you find them 
defending the point, by saying that the wool is also the dress of 
the prophets and the grabs of saints. Abu-Musa al-Ash'ari 
relates the following of the prophet (God blessing and peace be 
upon him': There passed by the rock at Rawha seventy prophets 
bare of foot, clad in the aba, repairing to the Ancient House". 
Al-Hasanal-Basri said:" Jesus (peace be upon him" used to wear 
haircloth, eat the fruit of the trees, and spend the night wherever 
he happened to find himself'. Abu-Musal al-Ash'ari said: "the 
prophet (God's blessing and peace be upon him" used to wear 
wool, ride asses, and accept the invitation of the insignificant to 
eat with them). Al-Hasanal-Basri said: "I have known of 
seventy of those who fought at Badr, whose clothes were only 
of wool" 29 

Definitions of Sufism 

There are many definitions of Sufism , most of them leads to the 
importance of purifying the heart and the attempt to gain 

28 Ibid.98 

29 Arthur John Arberry. The doctrine of the Sufi, CUP, 1966, P.6- 7. 


knowledge of divine reality, by following the exemplary model 
of the Prophet. According to Shaykh Ahmad Zarooq (846-899. 
A.H), there are around 2000 definitions in various books for the 
concept. These definitions all converge to conclude that 
Tasawwuf means concentrating and focusing, through one's 
heart attention towards Allah. It is strongly believed that Sufism 
in Islam is a spiritual attempt to comprehend the message of 
God by exercising oneself in the spiritual exercises based on the 
teachings of Shari’ ah. Sufism then must be in line with the rule 
of Shari’ ah which is embodied widely in the Qur’an and the 
prophetic tradition. It is important to emphasize the 
understanding of Shari’ ah in a wide sense since the legalists 
sometimes reduce the understanding of Shari’ ah to Islam ic 
jurisprudence which deals with the law. Sufism goes far beyond 
the outwardness of the Islamic law which is represented in 
Islamic jurisprudence ( Fiqh ). Sufism tries to go deeper to reach 
the Real (Al-haqq). This experience also requires both inward 
and outward exercises .Shaykh Abu-Bakr Shibli(861 - 946) 

30 Lukmanul, H, Darusman. Jihad in two Faces of Shariah: Sufism and 
Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh) and the Revival of the Islamic movements In 
the Malay World. The Australian National University. Canberra, 
Australia.2008, p.179. 


defined Tasawwuf as follows: "Its beginning is the knowledge 
( Ma'rifa ) of Allah and its end is His Unity ( Tauheed ). Imam 
Junayd al-Baghdadi, said: ‘ Sufism is that God should make thee 

O 1 

die away from thyselfand live in Him , Abu-Bakr al-Kalabadhi, 
who probably died at Bukhara in 3B5/995, reports the opinion 
of some (unspecified)authorities that the Sufis were so called 
because they were "in the first rank (, saff )" among Muslims dne 
to their having focused their desires upon God. Somewhat 
similar in implication to this derivation is that attributed to 
Bishr ibnal-Harith, who regards the word as referring to "one 
whose heart is sincere (,ra/d)"towards God. And, Shaykh ul- 
Islam Zakariyya Ansari‘s definition goes to emphasis: "Sufism 
teaches one to purify one's inner self, improve one's moral 
character, and build up one‘s inner and outer life in order to 
attain perpetual pleasure of God resulting in a state of perpetual 
bliss. Its subject matter is the purification of the soul, and its 
end or aim is the attainment of eternal satisfaction and 
blessedness”. Abu-Hamid al-Tusi al-Ghazali (1058-1128), 
scholar of Fiqh and author of a well-known work on Tasawwuf 
the noted Ihya ulum al-din (The revival of the religious 
sciences), wrote in his autobiography, al-Munqidh min al-Dalal, 

31 Martin Lengs. What is Sufism?, Suhail Academy Lahore, Pakistan. 1975, 

(Deliverance from error): The Sufi path consists in cleansing the 
heart from whatever is other than Allah". He concluded that the 
Shifts are the seekers in Allah's Way, and their conduct is the 
best conduct, and their way is the best way, and their manners 
are the most sanctified. They have cleansed their hearts from all 
others except Allah and they have made them as pathways for 
rivers to run, carrying knowledge of Allah. Meanwhile. Imam 
al-Junayd al-Baghdadi (d. 297) said defining a Sufi: al-Sufi man 
labisa al-sufa 'ala al-safa wa ittaba'a tariq al-MuStafa wa 
athaqa al-jasada ta'm al-jafa wa kanat al-dunya minim 'ala 
qafa. "The Shift is the one who wears wool on top of purity, 
followed the path of the Prophet, endured bodily strains 
dedicating his life to worship and reclining from pleasures, and 
left behind all that pertains to the world ".Sayyedi Shaykh 
Ahmad Zarooq declared that “Tasawwufis science of which the 
aim is to improve the heart and detach it from earthly desires to 
such an extent that it channels itself solely towards Allah” 
Which brings to say that the heart belongs only to Allah. Far 
from dealing with definitions, Tasawwuf is first and foremost 
related to the nature of man and to the spiritual state man 
aspires to reach. Out of the piety of the Companions of the Holy 
Prophet Muhammad emerged the definition of Sufism which 


embraces the three-fold characteristics of Islam , Iman and 
Ihsan. Islam signifies the exclusive submission of the faithful to 
the will of God and his perfect acceptance of the injunctions of 
the Qur’an while Iman signifies faith which constitutes the 
interior aspect of Islam . On the other hand Ihsan means, 
according to the prophetic Tradition that you worship God as if 
you see Him for even though man does not see Him, He always 
sees man. The significance of this definition of Sufism lies in 
the Ihsan element which has the force of inspiring in the faithful 
the feeling that he stands every moment in the all-embracing 
divine presence that he has to behave with awe and respect and 
must never fall back into a state of heedlessness. Undoubtedly, 
these three elements of the definition are fundamental in the 
framework of the sublime Sufis m~ .Bni Sufism is more, as 
Junayd, the undisputed leader of the Traqian school of 
mysticism (d. 910), wrote: " Sufism is not [achieved] by much 
praying and fasting, but it is the security of the heart and the 
generosity of the soul" (QR 60) 33 . 

32 Syed Aleem, al- Jilani. Tasawwuf: The heart of Islam. Port Louis. 1999, 

33 Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam, the university of 
North Carolina press, Chepel Hill, 1975, p.14 


The sources of Sufism 

As has been pointed out earlier in the chapter, Sufis trace the 
origin of Sufism or tasawwuf to the pure Islamic sources itself. 
However, the Quranic origin, the prophetic tradition as well that 
of the prophet's companions, have been taken by the Sufis as 
proof and evidence of the originality of tasawwuf from inside 
the fundamental sources of Islamic legislation, as the following 
points will show. The Sufis believe that there were two 
dimensions to the revelations received by the Prophet: one took 
the form of the words of the Qu’ran, the other that of the divine 
inspiration within his heart. The former was meant for all, while 
the latter was to be imparted to the chosen few and conveyed 
directly ‘from heart to heart’ .All the authentic principles of 
Tasawwuf are to be found in the Qur'an and Hadith. The notion 
that Tasawwuf is not in the Qur’an is erroneous. Tasawwuf is 
derived from Qur'an and Sunnah , the lives of the prophet 
companions, as well from the sayings of the great scholars. All 
these sources come to represent a rich treasure for 
tasawwuf 4 .Sufism traces its origins back to the Prophet of Islam 

34 Farida, Khanama. An introduction to Sufism , Goods books, New Delhi, 
2009, p.9. 


and takes inspiration from the divine word as revealed through 
him in the Koran. God has manifested His will, or rather 
Himself, in the words of the holy book, which is, basically, the 
only means by which man can know Him. The Koran was 
accepted relatively early by the faithful as uncreated and 


coetemal with God. 1 

Qur’anic Origin 

Themes that inspired the faithful to embrace ascetic life and 
shun over-worldliness are the divine words, presentation of 
God’s attributes and its repeated command of mankind to 
contemplate the creation; its narratives of Messengers and 
Prophets and the special mark of divine favours bestowed upon 
each of them, the greatest of Its exhortation of man to hasten 
earnestly to repentance, to celebrate the praise of the Lord, to 
remember God often, to love, adore and draw near God, and its 
several verses which depict the transient nature of worldly 
goods and its eschatological admonitions are also piety- 
inspiring themes in the Book. Furthermore, many Qur’anic 
passages tend to attract esoteric interpretations beside the 
exoteric ones, because of the very style of the Holy Book which 
is highly rhetorical. In actual fact the Holy Qur'an extols a 

35 Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam, the University of 
North Carolina press, Chepel Hill, 1975, p.24. 


branch of religion and one of the missions of Prophethood for 
which the word Tazkiyah is applied. It mentions it as one of the 
four pillars of religion for which the great Messenger was sent 
to accomplish and fulfil. “He it is Who sent among the 
unlettered ones a Messenger (§) from among themselves, 
reciting to them His Verses, purifying them, and teaching them 
the Book and cil-Hikmah. (Wisdom). The purification meant 
here is that of the Soul, its refinement and its adornment with 
virtues and disengagement from vices 36 . Truly he succeeds who 
purifies it. And he fails who corrupts it\" . Moreover the verse 
says: "And whoever purifies himself does so for the benefit of 
his own sold; and the destination (of all) is to Allah " .The 
above formentioned verses are just examples of the so many 
Quranic verses that went with line of soul purification, or what 
is known the ilm of Tazkiyah or tasawwuf. 

The prophetic source 

Sufism also owes its origin to Prophet Muhammad's life-style. 
The Prophet’s practice of spiritual retreat in the cave of Mount 
Hira’ during the month of Ramadan in the years immediately 
preceding his Call which culminated in the revelation of the 

36 A, F, Ahmed Busari, KKamarudin. Introduction to Sufism. National Open 
University of Nigeria Abuja. 2012p-16) 

37 Holy Qur'an, Surat al-Shamas. 

3S Qur'an: Surah Fater, 35:18. 


Qur'an to him through the arch-angel Jibrll in the year 612 
A.D., a practice he resumed, if indeed he ever relinquished it, in 
the latter part of his life when he used to go to the mosque of 
Madina for i'tikaf (seclusion in the mosque during Ramadan) 
served as the prototype of the §ufi spiritual retreat. Also, his 
ascension through the heavens to the divine presence to which 
the first lines of Qur'an Chapter 17 allude has become the 
prototype of the Sufi ascension, into the intimate presence of the 
Divine Being. Various Traditions that are attributed to him have 
served the §ufis tremendously in the development of their 
doctrines. A number of his sayings about the importance of 
prayers and night vigils, merits of dhikr and poverty constituted 
the core of Sufi tenets. By virtue of his position as the 
messenger of God, great importance was attached to his 
personality for the spiritual life of his community. He was the 
ideal leader and the duty of every faithful was to emulate him. 
The Sufis really imitate the Prophet’s devotion, vigils, fasts and 
acts of self-abnegation and self-sacrifice. The Prophet slept on 
the floor, his bed consisted of a sheet of cloth, half of which was 
spread on the ground and with the remaining half he covered his 
body. His house was a small hut without proper door and roof. 
His food was coarse barley bread which could only be 

swallowed with the help of water. He ate at the time of keeping 
fast and at the time of breaking it. He had few earthly 
attachments and few worldly engagements. He taught that "God 
is nearer to man than his neck vein’. He laid the greatest 
emphasis on the need of personal surrender and submission to 
God 1 .He was the source of esoteric wisdom and spiritual 
emanations; the preservation of this idea being made by the 
§ufis by having his name at the end of the chain of authorities of 
all the Sufi Orders; Sunnites, Shi‘ites and others alike. Respect 
for him reached its peak when he was conceived by the 
medieval §ufis to be the Perfect Man par excellence and the 
Cause and Goal of the Creation’. The claim of the Sufis that 
tcisawwuf had its source in the life of the Prophet and his 
companion is based on certain facts. The Prophet led an 
extremely simple life. He avoided all luxuries. Any valuable 
presents received by him were immediately disposed of in 
charity. His personal possessions, even at the time when the 
whole of Arabia acknowledged his supremacy, comprised of no 
more than an ordinary mattress to sleep on and a pitcher to keep 
water in. He fasted for months on end and slept little preferring 

39 Farhat Gill, The Ascetic Phase in the Development of Tasawwuf, published 
paper Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol. XXXII, No. 1, 2011, p. 
10 . 

to spend the major portion of the night in prayers (73:20). His 
very life was the proof and the example of his knowledge and 
commitment to both the theoretical concepts of Islam as well as 
its everyday practice 40 . The Companions and the first 
generations which followed them thus were preoccupied with 
carefully recording not only his acts and words ( hadith ), his 
personal qualities, his habits of daily living and his tastes, but 
they also noted his tacit approval of practices or customs and his 
reserve or silence on various matters. The “path” marked out by 
the Prophet thus makes up the second source of Islam : this is 
the Surma , which draws its authority from the Koran itself: 

“ Obey God and His Messenger” (3:132). “You have in the 
Messenger of God a beautiful model” (Koran 33:21). Does this 
model require nothing more than an outer it also shapes the 
worldview and the spiritual personality of Muslims. They agree 
on the ethical value of the teaching of the Prophet who came, in 
his own words, “to bring noble characters to perfection.” In 
several places the Koran introduces Muhammad as a messenger 
come to purify men. But, in the hereafter, what is the true nature 
of the Prophet, which the Koran describes as “sublime”. 
Muhammad referred specifically to this when he said: “I was 

40 Farida, Khanama. An introduction to Sufism, Goods books, New Delhi, 
2009, p.9. 


already a prophet when Adam was between spirit and body” 
(TirmidhI). Sufis and Muslim spiritual adepts in general 
developed doctrines of the primacy and pre-eminence of the 
Prophet in relation to the whole of creation from such scriptural 
sources, conformity to the teaching of the Prophet, or to a code 
of conduct, or to guidelines of hygiene, etc., or does it also 
include an inner dimension?. The Surma is not only an 
important legal reference point, which is what it is often 
understood to be. According to SuyutI, the profound nature of 
the Prophet showed through in many aspects of his daily life. 
He maintained that Muhammad’s judgments were determined 
according to the exoteric Law, but also according to esoteric 
Reality. For example, the regard in which he held people was 
not due to how they appeared, but to how they would be in the 
future, which he knew through a kind of spiritual revelation. For 
the most demanding Muslims, the Sunna could not be limited to 
a formal imitation of the Prophet; rather, it consists in 
inhabiting, as far as possible, his inner states. Muhammad, as a 
divine Messenger, had to address all people, but the holiness 
with which he was invested — and which is of surpassing 
excellence to his function of prophet — was apparent only to 
some. Thus if the Prophet is “the unsurpassable model of all 


sanctity,”, there is an inner Sunna to which the spiritual elite are 
invited. Sarraj explained that theologians and jurists drew their 
arguments and statutes primarily from the example of the 
Prophet. Sufis, on the other hand, focused on absorbing his 
“noble virtues.” This enabled SuhrawradI of Baghdad to declare 
that Sufis are the true Sunnis. It is for this reason that Sufis see 
themselves as the successors of Muhammad 41 . 

The Role of the §ahabah 

Sufi traditions usually include some of the Prophet 
Muhammad’s companions, among the spiritual ancestors of 
Islamic mysticism. Vivid story life has always been made of 
Ahlal Suffah, the people of the Bench, poor and pious members 
of Prophet Muhammad’s community, who lived in the mosque 
of Madinah and to whom some have traced the root of the term 

The great prophet companion, our master Abu-Bakr led the life 
of a poor man, but he was not poor in the sense that he had no 
money; he was poor only in the sense that he had no desire for 
money. Poverty in his case was not compulsory it was 
voluntary. In the case of a person who has no resources, poverty 
is compulsory. On the other hand, a person who has enough of 

41 EricGeoffory. Introduction toSuffsm: The Inner Path of Islam. 2010, p. 37. 


money but prefers to live like a poor man takes over to poverty 
in a voluntary way. Abti-Bakr's life was a striking example of 
preferring voluntary poverty to compulsory poverty in the Sufi 
way. When Abu-Bakr prayed he recited the Holy Qur'an in a 
low voice, while Umar recited the Holy Qur'an in a loud voice. 
When the Holy Prophet asked Umar the reason for his reciting 
the Holy Qur'an in a loud voice he said "I wake the drowsy and 
drive away the devil." When Abu-Bakr was asked to explain 
why he recited the Holy Qur'an in a low voice, he said, "He 
with whom I converse will hear.”. With Abu-Bakr the recitation 
of the Holy Qur'an was the means of communion with God and 
that was the Sufi way 42 . As regards the four rightly guided 
caliphs, Abu-Bakr is placed by the Sufi Shaykhs at the head of 
those who have adopted the contemplative life (, mushahadah ), 
on account of the fewness of the stories and Traditions which he 
related. ‘Umar is placed at the head of those who have adopted 
the purgative life ( mujahadah ) because of his rigour and 
assiduity in devotion. The Sufis make him their model in 
wearing patchedwork and rigorous performance of religious 
duties. The Sufis take ‘Utlnnan as their example in sacrificing 
life and property, in resigning their affairs to God, and in 



sincere devotion. Among the Companions, the position of ‘All 
ibn Abu-Talib, the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in- 
law, is unique and deserves a special remark because of his 
significance. §ufi traditions claim that esoteric knowledge (al- 
71m al -ladunT) and sainthood ( wildyah ) were transmitted from 
the Prophet Muhammad through him. He is therefore 
considered the guide to the principle and practice of esoteric 
Reality. His name thus follows the name of the Prophet 
Muhammad in the spiritual chains of authority, of many Sufi 
Orders out of which the Rifa’iyyah and the Hamuya orders are 
two examples. The Baktashiyyah has so strong a reverence for 
the ‘Alid House that it might well be called a Slffite Sufi order. 
The Khalwatiyyah Sufi order at its inception had very strong 
link with the Shfat ‘AH’ .Abu Dharr al-GhifarT (d. 3 1/653) is 
among the Prophet Muhammad’s Companions often associated 
with many traditions, about poverty and he appears as the 
prototype of the true faqir i.e. the poor person who possesses 
nothing but who is totally possessed by God, in the spirit of the 
Qur’anic verse: “And Allah is the rich and you are the poor”. A 
more important personality is Salman al-FarisT, the Persian-born 
companion who was taken into Prophet Muhammad’s 
household, and became a model of spiritual adoption. His 

spirituality was later considered a decisive element in the 
history of Persian Siifism. The mysterious Uways al-Qami is 
another Companion mystically connected with Prophet 
Muhammad. Uways, about whom Sufi tradition relates that he 
spent all his nights in prayer, became for the later §ufis the 
prototype of the inspired Sufi , who has been guided solely by 
divine grace, knowing of the Prophet without outward contact. 
He is the mystic who has attained illumination outside the 
mystical regular system, without the mediation of a living 
Shaykli. The Sahabah (the companions of the Prophet 
Muhammad s.a.w) were almost Sufis though they were not 
called Sufis. This is important in the sense that Tasawwuf is the 
science through which the Believer lives solely for Allah. In 
order to live in accordance with Islamic principles, Sufis take 
their inspiration from the exemplary life of the Sahabah 43 . The 
Sahabah had the original purity of Islam . They were deeply 
conscious of the righteousness and beauty of Islam and they 
knew how live in the realm of the highest Islamic norms and 
values. Due to their faith and their practice of Islam , their 
introspective power got stronger and gave them a proud vision 

43 A, F, Ahmed Busari, KKamarudin. Introduction to Sufism. National Open 
University of Nigeria, Abuja, 2012, p: 16. 

of life. Their heart became a river of wisdom that always kept 
flowing. Their pure heart was in a state of catching the blessings 
and secrets of the Almighty and Omniscient. Such was the 
spiritual position of the Tabe-een and Tabe-Tabeen. These three 
periods, namely that of the Sahabah , of the Tabe-een and 
Taabe-Tabeen , were the best periods of Islam . The Holy 
Prophet s.a.w. said: “The best period is my period, and then will 
come the period following mine and the period that will follow 
that period. “Therefore, the essence of Sufism was practiced in 
the early period of Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his 

The early scholars on Sufism 

According to the four Imams, Sufism has its place in Islam . 
Imam Abu-Hanifa (85 H.150 H) said that “If it were not for two 
years, I would have perished.” He said, “For two years I 
accompanied Sayyidina Ja’far as-Saddiq and 1 acquired the 
spiritual knowledge that made me a Gnostic in the Way.” (Ad- 
Durr al-Mukhtar, vol l.p.43). Imam Malik (95 H.179 H.) said 
that “Whoever studies Jurisprudence ( tafaqaha ) and doesn’t 
study Sufism [tasawwuf will be corrupted; and whoever studies 
Sufism and doesn’t study Jurisprudence will become a heretic; 
and whoever combined both will be reaching the Truth.” (‘Ali 

al-Adawi, vol. 2, p 195.) Imam ShafiT (150 -205 AH.) said that 
“I accompanied the Sufi people and I received from them three 
knowledge: (1) how to speak; (2) how to treat people with 
leniency and a soft heart, (3) and they guided me in the ways of 
Sufism .” (Kashf al-Khafa, ‘Ajluni, vol. 1, p 341). Imam Ahmad 
bin Hanbal (164 - 241 AH.) said that “O my son, yon have to sit 
with the People of Sufism , because they are like a fountain of 
knowledge and they keep the Remembrance of Allah in their 
hearts. They are the ascetics and they have the most spiritual 
power.” ( Tanwir al-Oulub p. 405) 44 .Ibn Taimiyya wrote 
extensively on the actions of the heart in his booklet, al-Tuufat 
al- ‘Iroqiyyafi al-A ‘mol al-Qalbiyya. He says: These few words 
elucidate the actions of the heart which are called temporal 
spiritual states and perpetual spiritual states. They are the pillars 
and foundation of Din, such as: love for Allahu and his Blessed 
Prophet s, dependence on Allahu [ tawakkul '], sincerity, gratitude 
[shukr], patience \Suabr\ , fear of Allahu \khauff hope in Allahu 
etc. The attainment of all these attributes is obligatory upon the 
community; and there is no difference of opinion in this matter. 
There are three types of people in relation to the inner qualities 

T asawwuf-Part- 1 .pdf. 


as there are three types in relation to the actions of the physical 

1- The transgressor [ dhlirn ] 

2- The moderate [muqtasid] 

3- The exceller in good [sabiq bi al-khairat ] 

The transgressor is one who neglects the orders of Allah and 
commits forbidden acts. The moderate is one who fulfils the 
orders of Allahu and avoids forbidden acts. The exceller is one 
who strives to his utmost to gain nearness to Allahu. He is not 
content with fulfilling the necessary acts and avoiding the 
forbidden acts only, but also strives to perform all the Simnas 
and desirables and to avoid all the undesirables. Though the 
exceller commits sins, he is forgiven either by repentance, good 
deeds, or trials and tribulations. Both the moderate and the 
exceller are amongst the friends of Allahu who are mentioned in 
the following aya of the Qur’an: 'Listen, the friends of Allahu 
shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve'. Therefore, the 
believers and God-fearing are the friends of Allahu. Then, the 
God-fearing are of two types: the general and the special. The 
general are the moderates and the special are the excell ers in 

good 43 Jalaluddin as-Suynti (849 - 911 AH.) States "At- 
Tasawwuf in itself is the best and most honourable knowledge. 

It explains how to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) and to 
put aside innovation.” [Ta'yid al-Haqiqat al-'Aliyya ]. while Ibn 
Qayyim (691 - 751 AH.) points out says:"We can witness the 
greatness of the People of Sufism , in the eyes of the earliest 
generations of Muslims by what has been mentioned by Sufyan 
ath-Thawri (d. 161 AH), one of the greatest imams of the second 
century and one of the foremost legal scholars. He said, "If it 
had not been for Abu- Hisham as-Sufi (d. 115) I would never 
have perceived the action of the subtlest forms of hypocrisy in 
the self... Among the best of people is the Sufi learned in 
jurisprudence." [Manazil as-Sa'ireeti]. 46 . And of the great ever 
Muslims, scholars who came to give the opinion, of the real and 
true seeker of truth, and tasawwuf, is Imam al-Ghazali ((1058— 
1111) ‘Lastly al-Ghazali turned to the way of mysticism, being 
convinced that mystics and they alone, among the seeker after 
truth, and really attained their purpose. By studying the works 

45 Abu.QuasemMuhammad. The ethics of al.Ghazali- A composite ethics in 
Islam-published PhD thesis, central printing Sendirian Berhed, Malaysia, 
1976, p.20. 




of some eminent mystics, he gained a complete understanding 
of the intellectual aspect of their discipline, and realized that 
what was distinctive in it could not be apprehended by study, 
but only by immediate experience ( dhawq ), by ecstasy or by 
moral change. He realized very clearly, that the mystics were 
men, not of words (< ashab al-aqwal ), but of real experience 
(i arbcib al-ahwal), and that what was necessary for him, was to 
live their lives, to practice their practices, and to forsake the 
world'. Thus, Imam al-Ghazali comes to the following findings, 
in his search of the truth: 'I learned with certainty that it is above 
all, the mystics who walk on the path of God; their life is the 
best life, their method the soundest method, and their character 
the purest character. Indeed, were the intellect of the 
intellectuals, the learning of the learned, and the scholarship of 
the scholars, who are versed in the profundities of revealed 
truth, brought together in the attempt to improve the life and the 
character of the mystics, they would find no way, of doing so, 
for to the mystics, all movement and all rest, whether external 
or internal brings illumination, from the light of the lamp, of the 
prophetic revelation, and behind the light of the prophetic 

revelation, there is no other light, on the face of the earth, from 
which illumination, maybe received 47 '. 

The essence of Sufism 

The spiritual masters have articulated in their writings that the 
only objective of this path is attaining lhasan. The different 
exercises and tedious devotions which the Sufis designed are for 
sicknesses of the heart. It is similar to the various sicknesses 
and diseases of the physical body, which physicians and 
traditional healers seek to cure by prescribing new medications. 

Just as no one calls their latest treatments innovations, likewise 
it is our misunderstanding of this field to call the treatments of 
the Shifts innovations. They are not objectives, but treatments 
for specific illnesses of the heart. 

The subject of tasawwuf and its goals can be summarized as follows 

* -Salvation from ignorance and attainment of gnosis ( Ma 'arifah ); 

* -Refinement and purification of the self ( Tazkiyah AlNafs); 

* Cleansing of the spiritual heart ( Tasfiyah Al-Qalb ) and the 
enlightenment of the soul ( Tajliyah Al-Ruh ); 

47 Abu-Quasem Muhammad. The ethics of al-Ghazali- A composite ethics in 
Islam-published PhD thesis, central printing Sendirian Berhed, Malaysia, 
1976, p. 125) 

* Sincerity and devotion to the Creator (. Ikhlas j and detachment 
from material and worldly concerns ( Zuha ); and Commitment 


to the service of all the creatures of God . 

It is patently clear that these objectives of tasawwuf are also the 
objectives of Islam . Consequently, as far as the subject and 
goals of tasawwuf aiQ concerned, they cannot be separated from 
the objectives and goals of Islam .O'Fahey (1993:61) writes 
'The objective of the Sufi way, is to merge one's will in the Will 
of God; to reflect the divine attributes and virtues embodied in 
the ninety-nine names of God, and to get inside gain, insight 
into the inner essence, the hidden mystery of the Qur'an'. The 
whole idea in Sufism is taming nafs so that it does good' 49 . 
Islamic mysticism is the attempt to reach individual salvation 
through attaining the true tauhid," says one of the leading 
Western orientalists. In fact, the quintessence of the long history 
of Sufism is to express anew, in different formulations, the 
overwhelming truth that "there is no deity but Allah" and to 
realize that He alone can be the object of worship" 50 . 

The concept of pcirTqa and pariq 

48 Ahmad 2001 
49 Ibid: 125 

50 Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam, the University of 
North Carolina press, Chepel Hill, 1975, p.23. 



Literally, the word tanqa means 'road, way, path'. It is 
popularly applied to certain organizations composed of 
religiously minded people united by a common faith in the 
virtue of some particular teacher, and practicing a common 
ritual of prayer and devotion' 1 . Tanqa, also spelled tctnqah , 
Arabic tariqah , (“road,” “path,” or “way”), the Muslim spiritual 
path toward direct knowledge ( maUrifah ) of God or Reality 
(, haqq ). In the 9 th and 10 th centuries tarlqa meant the spiritual 
path of individual Sufis (mystics). After the 12 th century, as 
communities of followers gathered around Shaykhs (or pirs, 
“teachers”), tarlqa came to designate the Shaykh’s entire ritual 
system, which was followed by the community or mystic order. 
Eventually tanqa came to mean the order itself". The term 
tanqa (‘path’) often translated as ‘Sufi order’ has always had at 
least two dimensions of meaning. On the one hand, each tanqa 
stands for a particular repertoire of devotions and spiritual 
exercises; on the other hand, a tanqa also represents, at least 
potentially, a matrix for social organization. Practitioners are 
connected to one another through their spiritual genealogies 

51 Rahman, M.M. The Islamic policies of the Sudan Government, 1899 - 
1924, Durham PhD thesis University of Durham, 1967, p:72. 
' 2, 

(, silsila ); where tariqa teachers have numerous deputies 
(khalifa), each with large numbers of followers; the tariqa may 
come to constitute a dense network, spread over a wide 


region' .The tanqa, the "path" on which the mystics walk, has 
been defined as "the path " This derivation shows that the Sufis 
considered the path of mystical education a branch of that 
highway that consists of the God-given law, on which every 
Muslimis supposed to walk. No path can exist without a main 
road from which it branches out; no mystical experience can be 
realized if the binding injunctions of the shar'ia are not 
followed faithfully first. The path, tariqa, however, is narrower 
and more difficult to walk and leads the adept — called salik, 
"wayfarer" — in his suIuk'. In Sufism , therefore, there is the 
road (sing, tanqa, pi. tuniq; this term went on to refer a Sufi 
order) and mystic travel, or suluk. One who undertakes a 
journey along this road is called a salik, or traveller. The 
mystical path is, in principle, open to everyone. According to 
the Sufis anybody can attain the higher forms of religious 

53 Martin, V, Bruinessen. Sufi 'Orders' in Southeast Asia: From Private 
Devotions to Social Network and Corporate Action- EUP. Edinburgh, 2013, 


54 Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam, the University of 
North Carolina press, Chepel Hill, 1975, p.99. 


knowledge, but if one is to do it the Sufi way, it must be done 
under the guidance of a Shaykh , also called a murshid or pir. 
The salik receives the rite of initiation from his Shaykh or 
murshid , who in turn has received it from his Shaykh and so on, 
with the chain of transmission of spiritual influence ( barakah ) 
going back to the Prophet himself. The Sufis believe that the 
Prophet conferred this right on only some of his companions, in 
particular the caliphs Abu-Bakr and Ali, who in turn passed it 
on to their followers. In this way, this right has been passed on 
in unbroken succession up to the present day. This chain of 
succession is known in Arabic as silsila, and it is a living 
tradition transmitted personally from master to disciple. A 
disciple is thus above all a seeker, or talib, then a traveller, or 
salik , and finally, if God so pleases, a gnostic, or arif But the 
spiritual realization cannot be achieved without the initiation, 
counsel, and guidance of the Shaykh , or spiritual master. Those 
aspiring to follow the Sufi path approach a Shaykh to be 
initiated into a spiritual lineage or, silsila. As every lineage goes 
back to the Prophet, all the orders (silsUas) are necessarily 
traced to one or the other of the companions whom the Prophet 
initiated himself. In the early phase of Sufism there were many 
great Sufi masters and they had their followers, but the 


movement was not institutionalized. The regular orders began to 
be established only in the 11 th and 12 th century AD, and the 
first great Sufi order was the Qadiriyya order, or tariqa, 
founded by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (1 071 - 11 66) 53 . 

The Sufi pledge or Bia'a 

One of the main principles of Sufism is for the murid to give a 
pledge to his Shaykh , that he will be an obedient slave of Allah 
Most High, that he will avoid sins, and that he will adhere to the 
Tariqa and its wird until his death 36 . The practice of taking 
bai ‘a is deeply rooted in the Qur’an and the Surma. The bai ‘a of 
the Sufis is of the kind in which one makes firm intention to 
adhere to the obligations of the Deen, and to be persistent on the 
good deeds of the heart and body. In common parlance, this 
bai ‘ a is called the bai ‘ a of Tasawwuf. Bay Y is a mutual pledge 
relating to the striving, arranging, executing and adhering to the 
laws of A ’male Zahiri and A ’male Batini. This pledge is called 
Bay ’t-e-Tareeqat which has been in vogue by authoritative 
transmission from generation to generation from the earliest 
time of Islam . Rasulullah (s) had enacted bay Y of the Sahabah 
not only on Jihad, but on Islam and the adherence of the Ahkarn 

55 Ibrahim(2004: 13) 




(Laws in general) as well on practical deed (A ’ mal ). This is 
established by numerous A hadith. The following hadith is one 
such Hadith'. “Auf Ibn Maalik Ash-ja-ee ( anhu) 
said: We were with Nabi (s), seven, eight or nine (of us), when 
he said: ‘Will yon not make bay’t (pledge) to the Rasul of 
Allah? ’ We stretched our hands and enquired: On what shall 
we make bay’t to you, O Rasul of Allah? He said: That you 
make the Ibaadat of Allah: that you associate nothing with Him; 
that you perform the five Salaat; that you hear and 
obey. ’’(Muslim, Abu-Dawood, Nisai). 'The core of the tariqa is 
the covenant between master and disciple, and its spiritual 
authority, is in its silisilah or chain of transmission, from one 
Shaykli to the next. Each tariqah derives its particular way 
from a particular saint. The connection must be demonstrated 
from that saint back through, the preceding generation of 
teachers, to the prophet, and likewise forward from him through 
successors, to the humblest students, who takes the name of the 
order. Atriqah is thus a spiritual family, providing both an 
exalted lineage, and extensive network of "kin". Each tariqah 
takes from the example, of its saint, and the practice of its 
founding Shaykli s a certain distinctive favour. In this way, each 
variety of human temperament may take its place, within a 

complex and resilient. To become a member of the Sufi order, a 
person must go through the process of allegiance (bai ’at). In 
the procession, he must read the oath of allegiance, the oath of 
allegiance, to the Shaykh himself to be salik or students, the 
consequences he must follow the rules and regulations that have 
been officially assigned, to the Sufi 

order, including his relationship with the Shaykh 51 . Almost all 
Sufi used to recite the verse of al-Fatah surah , which they 
called in their literature, the Fuat al-bai 'a “ Verily those who 
swear fealty to you are only swearing fealty to Allah: Allah ’s 
hand is above theirs. So he who violates his oath but violates it 
against himself; and whoever fulfills his covenant to Allah, He 


shall give him a tremendous wage. (Qur’an 48: 10). 

The chain of spiritual authority (the sanad) 

In Sufism , as in any serious Islamic discipline such as 
jurisprudence fiqh, Qur'anic recital tajwid, and hadith , a disciple 
must have a master or ‘Shaykh ’ from whom to take the 
knowledge, one who has himself taken it from a master, and so 
on, in a continuous chain of masters back to Muhammad. In 


Istrabad S. Zainb, The principles of Sufism ( Oawaid al. TasctwwuJ): 
Anannotated translation with introduction, PhD, Indiana University, 1988, 


58 Holy Qur'an, verse 10 of Surat al-Fatah. 


Sufi tradition, this means not only that the present Shaykli has 
met and taken the way from a master, but that the master during 
his lifetime has explicitly and verifiably invested the disciple — 
whether in writing or in front of a number of witnesses — to 
teach the spiritual path as a fully authorized master (murshid 
rna ' dhun ) to succeeding generations of disciples 59 . 

The chain of authority ( sanad ) is one of the constituent bases 
for every Sufi order, since it joins the Shaykh (spiritual leader) 
of the moment to the lineage of Shaykhs who passed the tariqa 
on him, and from whom he received it. Every Shaykh who 
lacks this clear transmission of authority from the Shaykh prior 
to him, by command or witnesses, is a dubious Shaykh 60 . This 
spiritual succession or tradition is often represented as a tree, 
whose roots are in revelation and whose twigs, leaves, and 
flowers correspond to the spiritual methods or 'paths' ( tiiruq ), 
founded by the great spiritual master. The branches of the tree 
represent the principal lines of succession, and are sometimes to 
be interpreted historically, sometimes only symbolically. On the 
root of the tree one can read the name Allah; above it, on the 


60 Hassan Marzouqi, Tariqa Islam: Layers of authentication, paper presented 
to Arab centre for research and policy studies, 2013, p.10. 


trunk, is the name of the Archangel Gabriel (Jibril), who, in the 
Islamic perspective is the divine instrument of revelation, and 
above this is the name of Muhammad. At that point the trunk 
divides into two branches, which bear the names respectively of 
the first and fourth caliphs (Abu-Bakr and Ali), since they were 
the first two mediators and masters of the Sufi tradition'’ 1 . Each 
tciriqa is supposed to have been handed down through a 
continuous chain (, silisla ) and adherents can produce a spiritual 
succession ( isnad) from the Prophet through Ali or Abn-Baker 
to the existing Shaikh of the order. So the Shaikh is regarded as 
being the spiritual heir of the original founder, deriving his 
authority from his immediate predecessor 62 . Hazrat Ali (A.S) is 
a prominent personality in Islam . He is known as the fountain 
in all Sufi Salasil (chains). All Sufi schools recognized him as 
their spiritual guide. Each Sufi individually and all Sufi Salasil 
(chains) in Islam collectively ascend them to Hazrat Ali (A.S) 
to prove their authority and authenticity. We may say it the 
practical aspect of the teachings of Qur'an. In Islam , a real Sufi 
always thinks positively, behaves positively and acts positively. 

61 Muhammad, Z, Kandehlwi. Shari‘a and TarTqa: Islamic Law Purification 
of the Heart. Madania Publications 2011, p. 1 33 . 

62 Rahman, M.M. The Islamic policies of the Sudan Government, 1899 - 
1924, Durham PhD thesis University of Durham, 1967, p:74. 


The betterment of the mankind becomes the main ideal of a 


Shari' a and Tasawwuf 

According to a division made by the Sufis, Islam has two 
aspects: the outward aspect, which includes the shari ‘ah (the 
precepts of Islamic law), and the inward aspect, called tariqah 
(the spiritual way). Together, these aspects lead one to haqiqah 
(the Truth). Sufism is another term for tariqah 64 . Sufis 
throughout the time come, in their writings and speeches, to 
emphasis the fact that sharia ', tariqa and haqiqa , stands as one 
unit. They never separate nor split, nor one of it be independent 
from the other. So, shari ' a leads to tariqa , and tariqa via shari ’a 
leads to haqiqa. And as is known haqiqa represent the highest 
level of the upward progress, or ascent of man to the highest. 
They said shari' a is to worship Allah, tariqa is to refuge to 
Allah and haqiqa is to worship Allah as if you See Him, if you 

“Taher (2011:6) 

64 Shahram,pazouk, The Sufi Path: An Introduction to the Ni’matullahi 
Sultan Allshahi Order, Haqiqat Publications, Tehran, Iran 2000, p.5. 


do not see Him, know that he See you. It said that shari'a is 
valid for refonning the senses, while tariqa is for reforming the 
conscious ( al-damair ), and haqiqa is valid for refonning the 
souls ( al-Sarair ). It was also said shari'a is Allah's addressing 
or the discourse to His servants and His speech, which delivered 
to them through messengers and prophets. The strong principle 
among the Sufis is that, shari'a is the law, and Reality is the 
fruit of application of the law. “He (Allah) loves them 
{Mu ’ mineen ) and they love Him.”, and: “Those who have 
adopted Imaan are most ardent in the love of Allah. ” Similarly, 
along with: “When they stand for Salaat , they stand half 
heartedly”, is to be found: “They show people (i.e. they perfonn 
Salaat in riyaf 5 ‘To Combine One ’s Flesh and Blood with the 
Koran ” Junayd, the master from Baghdad (d. 911), stated: “Our 
science [i.e. Sufism ] is intimately linked to the Koran and the 
model of Muhammad (Sunnaf 6 . The inner relationship between 
Shari ‘a, kiriqa and haqiqa is vividly expressed by the 
renowned early nineteenth-century Hanafi jurist Ibn "Abidin, 
who was affiliated to the Khalidi branch of the Naqshbandiyya: 

65 Ibid:5 

66 Eric, Geoffory. Introduction to Sufismthe Inner Path of Islam. 2010, p.37. 



The tanqa and the shari ‘ a necessitate each other, since the path 
to God consists of an external aspect and an internal aspect. Its 
externality is the shari ‘ a and the tanqa and its internality is the 
haqiqa. The internality of the haqiqa in the shari ‘a and the 
tanqa is like the internality of butter in milk. It is impossible to 
reveal the butter in the milk without churning it. The aim of the 
three - the shari ‘a, the tanqa, and the haqiqa - is to fulfill the 
state of servitude to God 67 . 

67 ltzchak, Wiseman. The Naqshbandiyya, Orthodoxy and activism in a 
worldwide Sufi tradition. Rutledge Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, 
Oxon 0X14 4RN. 2007, p.3. 



The narrow path 
linking the extorier to 
interior, appearances 
to essence, the shell to 
the kernel 

* Interior reality of all 
that is created, of all 
law, of all religion. 

*aJ-Haqq . ; the Real (or 
the Turth) 

' External norm of all 

*Broad, general path. 

Diagram 1- the Sharia , Tanqa and Haqiqa relation. 

Source: Introduction to Sufism The Inner Path of Islam , Eric 
Geoffroy, 20 1 0, p.9 

Sufis trace their origins back to Prophet Muhammad himself, 
and even earlier to the other great prophets. Achievement of 
friendship with Allahu [wilaya] is by adherence to the Shari ‘a 
while achievement of the highest level in the path of 



prophethood is by adherence to the essence of the Shari ‘a. 
Thus, there is no concept of friendship with Allahu and 
achievement of the highest level in the path of prophethood 
outside the realm of Sharia. Both external ( zahiri ) and internal 
( batini ) acts and duties are commanded inthe Qur’an. Thus the 
Qur’aan while commanding Salaat and Zakaat : “O People of 
Imaan! Establish Salaat and give Zakaat also commands 
shukr (gratefulness): “And be grateful unto Allah”. At one place 
is to be found: “Fasting has been decreed upon you.” And 
“Upon mankind is the Hajj of the Bait for Allah . 

The sayings of the scholars and Sufis on pasawwuf and 

The Shari'ah has three parts: knowledge, action, and sincerity 
of motive ( ikhlas ); unless you fulfill the demands of all these 
parts, you do not obey the Shari'ah. And when you obey the 
Shari'ah you obtain the pleasure of God, which is the most 
supreme good in this world and the Hereafter. Imam Malik 
(195. H- 179. H) said: "He who practices Tasawwuf without 
learning Sacred Law corrupts his faith, while he who learns 

6S Muhammad, Z, Kandehlwi. Shari‘a and Tanqa: Islamic Law Purification 
of the Heart. Madania Publications 201 1, p .1 14. 


Sacred Law without practicing Tasawwuf corrupts himself. 
Only he who combines the two proves true" 69 . To prove their 
orthodoxy, the orders accept the Law ( Sharia ) 'as the starting 
point of the Sufi path'. This is fully expressed in the following 
extract from a Mirghaniyya manual: 

"Hold firmly, my brother, to the Sharia, because you cannot 
approach the 'path' except through the Sharia, nor can you 
approach the 'truth' except through the tariqa, Shari 'a i s the 
root, tariqa is the branch and the haqiqa (truth) is the fruit 1 ' 70 . 

The tariqa and the Shari'a necessitate each other, since the 
path to God consists of an external aspect and an internal 
aspect. Its externality is the Shari'a and the tariqa and its 
internality is the haqiqa. The internality of the haqiqa in the 
shari'a and the tariqa is like the internality of butter in milk. It 
is impossible to reveal the butter in the milk without churning 

“Muhammad, A, Ansari. Sufism and Shari'ah: A study of Ahmed Sirhindi's 
Effort to Reform Sufism. IslamicFoundation, 1986 p.212/2. 

70 Rahman, M.M. The Islamic policies of the Sudan Government, 1899 - 
1924, Durham PhD thesis University of Durham, 1967, p:87. 


it. The aim of the three - the shari'o, the tariqa, and the 
hoqiqa- is to fulfill the state of servitude to God. 71 

Stations and states 

'O seeker , know that the path to truth is within you... there 

is no arriving or leaving... who seeks and finds when there is 
none but God? 

(Boni, 2005:107). 

Describing their experiences along the path, the early Sufis 
identified different stations through which they had to pass. 
These were divided in their expositions into two major types: 
stages (sing, maqam ), like renunciation, poverty, and trust in 
God, which one reaches and maintains by one’s own strivings, 
and states (sing, hal), like vision and certainty, which come and 
go without control. The last stations on the path are the two 
complementary states of love ( mahabba ) and gnosis ( ma'rifa ). 
They lead to annihilation in God if ana ’) and subsistence in Him 
(. baqa ’) in full realization of the divine unity ( tawhid ). 

71 ltzchak, Weismann.The Naqshbandiyya, Orthodoxy and activism in a 
worldwide Sufi tradition. Rutledge Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, 
Oxon 0X14 4RN. 2007:3. 

Intoxicated mystics have always rejoiced in the bliss of the 
annihilation of their self in the One, while sober mystics like the 
Naqshbandis put the stress on their subsistence in order to 
return to this world and guide others on the same journey. 
According to the great Sufi Abu-NaSr as Sarraj (d. 378/988), 
there are seven stations in the practice of Sufism. These are: the 
station of repentance ( tawba ), the station of watchfulness 
(war a ’), the station of renunciation ( zuhd ), the station of 
poverty ( faqr ) and the characteristics of the poor, the station of 
patience ( sabr ), the station of trust ( tawakkul f), the station of 
acceptance (ridhld) and its characteristic of its people Through 
training oneself to attain these stations, seekers of God will be 
able to gain the knowledge of Divine reality. Knowledge about 
God is therefore the most profound and basic sense “.We saw 
that the Tariqa has “stations” ( maqdmdt ) and “states” (ahwal) 
marked out along its progress. In his Luma 1 , one of the major 
manuals of Sufism, Sarraj (tenth century) established very 
explicitly that both of these are grounded in the Koran. From 
the beginning to the end of his initiatory journey, the Sufi thus 
walks “through the Book.” For example, the station of “trusting 
surrender to God” (tawakkul) is based specifically on “Put your 



Ibid: 3 

trust in God, if you are believers!” (Koran 5:23), the state of 
“proximity” ( qurb ) on “When My servants question you 
concerning me, [say to them that] I am near” (2:186), and that 
of “love” ( mahabba ) on “ God will soon bring men whom He 
will love and who will love Him ” (5:54). The Koranic terms 
describing “stations” and “states” quickly became prototypes of 
the Path, templates which would form the mystical practices of 
Islam as well as Sufi terminology 7 ". Maqam (station) denotes 
one’s stay in the Way of Allah, and his fulfilment of all rights 
and obligations pertaining to that " maqam“ and his keeping it 
until he comprehends its perfection. It is beyond man’s power to 
pass through a maqam without meeting its due obligations. 
There are following stations: 

- The first station is repentance, ( tawba ) 

- The second station is conversion to Allah ( inabat ) 

- The third station is abstinence ( zuhd ), and 

- The fourth station is trust in Allah ( tawakul ) 

It is not permissible that one should pretend to conversion 
without repentance, or to abstinence without conversion, or to 
trust in Allah without abstinence. (Those ranged in ranks say): 
“ Not one of us but has a place appointed;” (Q 37:164). "Hal 

73 Eric, Geoffory. Introduction toSuflsmthe Inner Path of Islam. 2010, p. 36. 

I 126 

’state" is that state which descends from Allah into a man’s 
heart. It is not attainable by efforts neither it can be repelled 
with efforts when it happens. The term maqdm (station) 
denotes, the way of the seeker ofthe Truth, progress in his 
diligence and efforts and acquisitioning of rank in the Court of 
Lord on the merit of one’s excellence and efforts. The term hal 
(state) denotes that favors and grace of Allah which descends on 
man’s heart without any mortification on his part. Therefore, 
maqdm (station) belongs to the category of acts and hal (state) 
is favor and grace of Lord. Maqdm (station) is acquired through 
efforts whereas hal (state) is gifted. Hence the man of maqdm 
(station) stands by his own self mortification, whereas the man 
of hal (state) is dead to self and stands by a "state” which Allah 
creates for him. Here the Shaykhs are at variance. Some hold 
that a state may be permanent, while other rejects this view. 
Harith Muhasibi maintained that state may be permanent. He 
argues that love and longing, and contraction and expansion are 
all states and if the states lack permanency then the lover would 
not be a lover and desirer would not be a desirer. And until a 
man’s state becomes his attribute the name of that state is not 
properly applied to him. It is for this reason that he holds rida 
(satisfaction) to be one of the states, and the same view for the 



last forty years I am satisfied in whatever state Allah kept 
me.’The other group denies that a state can be permanent. 
Junaid says: “States are like flashes of lightning: their 
permanence is merely a suggestion of the lower soul/ Another 
group has said: “States are like their name, as soon as they 

reveal on the heart they perish,” and whatever remains behind is 
the attribute and the attribute subsists in an object which must 
be more perfect than the attribute itself, this is absurd 74 . The 
historian Annemaire Schimmel in mystical dimensions of Islam 
states 'They distinguished between maqam, "station," and hal, 
"state": "State is something that descends from God into a man's 
heart, without his being able to repeat it when it comes, or to 
attract it when it goes, by his own effort" (H 181). Or, as Rumi 
puts it more poetically: 

The hal is like the unveiling of the beauteous bride, while the 
maqdm is the [king's] being alone with the bride . (M 1 : 1 435). 
Sufism teaches that the Suft who seeks God, must advance by slow 
"stages" along the Path. The "stages" relate to repentance, followed 
by abstinence, renunciation, 'poverty', patience and trust in God. 

74 Muhammad, A,Javed.The Revelation of Mystery ( Kashfal.Mahjub ). Lahore. 


75 See Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam, the University 
of North Carolina press, Chepel Hill, 1975, p.99. 

These stages constitute the ethical and ascetic disciplines of 
Sufism. Total commitment at each stage is vital towards the 
spiritual progress of the Sufi 6 . 

The deniers of Sufism 

According to Sufis the deniers of those who held negative 
attitudes towards Sufism and Sufis are varied, through time and 
places. Sidi Ahmad Zarraq wrote a great book called the 
principles of Sufism in which he clarified traditional and 
orthodox Sufism says in his principle number 208, 'there are five 
reasons for repudiating the Sufis the first of these is with 
reference to the perfection of their path. For if the Sufis latch on 
to a special dispensation or if they misbehave or are negligent in 
a matter or if a fault manifests itself in them, people hasten to 
repudiate them.' Because they are people who have traditionally 
been the most strongest and fierce adherents to the sacred 
teaching of Islam and they have been the ones also that have 
never inclined toward easy ways out on terms of the shariah or 
the sacred law."They have been the strictest adherents to the 
sacred law, but they have a wonderful principle: that is be hard 

7 6 Zakir Hussain. An introduction to Sufism, paper presented toDominion Lodge 
No 1 17AF. & AM. GRAOn 1 1th February 1 998, p.4. 

on yourself and be gentle with other people. Unfortunately, the 
disease of this age amongst many Muslims is be easy on 
yourself and be hard on everybody else. So I think this is where 
the real crises of rejecting Sufism as one third of Islam has had 
really devastating results in much of the modern Islamic 
phenomenon. (Shaykli Ahmad Zarruq] said 'this is because no 
servant is free of fault unless he is granted infallibility or 
protection by God.' "The second reason [for people to repudiate 
Sufis ] is the sensitivity of the observer. [The observer's] 
criticism of the Sufis and their knowledge and states occurs as 
much as the ego, nafs , hastens to deny knowledge it does not 
possess. Imam Sayyidina Ali was known for saying, 'Whoever 
is ignorant of a thing is its natural enemy.' "The third reason [to 
reject the Sufis] is the existence of many who fall short of their 
claims and those who seek [worldly] gain through the guise of 
religiosity. This has been an affliction within the Muslim 
ummah. It is well known of the people claiming to be Sufis, 
putting on the garments of Sufis, and tricking simple followers 
and worshippers; getting them to give them their money, to 
slavishly serve them, and these types of things. This has 
happened historically in the Muslim world. The [pious] imams 
have always been the strictest at trying to prevent this 

deception, because there is nothing worse than deceiving 
somebody in religion. Give me a mafia gangster any day over a 
fraudulent religious observer— really! This is the reason for 
denying any claim that they might make even though there is 
proof of it, because it is found doubtful. The fourth reason is 
fear for the generality that they might be lead astray by 
following esoteric doctrines without upholding the letter of the 
law as happens to many ignorant people. So ignorant people 
might hear some statement which is said by a Sufi and they 
completely misunderstand it. And Abu Yazid al-Bistami put in 
Imam Dhahabi's tabaqat is considered a faqih (jurisprudent). 
Imam Dhahabi is considered a student of Ibn Taymiyya and he 
considers Abu- Yazid al-Bistami a reasonable and sound source 
of hadith. Yet Abu-Yazid al-Bistami is the one who is noted for 
saying 'Suhhanee' which means 'Glory to Me!' This is known in 
the technical vocabulary of the Sufis as a shatha, an ecstatic 
utterance. If a person says it in a state in which their self is 
absent they are not taken to account for it We have proof of it in 
Sahih Bukhari about a slave in the middle of a desert in which 
the Prophet (s) says that because he finds his lost beast he 
shouts out in joy 'Allah you are my slave and I am Your lord!' 
The Prophet explained that that slave made a mistake in his 

ecstatic state after finding his animal. This is someone who 
finds their animal, so how much greater for someone who has 
found his Lord?! What about his state of ecstasy?"The fifth 
reason [to reject Sufism] is the covetousness some people have 
for the ranks of Sufism. In traditional Muslim society the Sufis 
were held up as literally the highest people in the society; they 
were the Shaykhs. Imam Nawawi was a great Sufi, [Qadi] Iyad 
was a great Sufi, Ibn Hajar Asqalani was a great Sufi, and Imam 
Ibn Jawzi was a great Sufi. All of these great imams were 
known to be Sufis of great stature. Abu-Hamid al Ghazzali who 
is given the title Hujjat al-Islam is probably the greatest 
example. People wanted to be like them, and the Arabs are 
notorious in their understanding if you are not like noble people 
pretend to be like them because even that is a type of 
nobility. "Finally [Sidi Ahmad Zarruq] said, 'Thus people are 
inclined to become inflamed with the Sufis, more so than with 
any other group.' People in official positions exert pressure on 
them more than anybody else. This was a traditional area in 
which the government would try to influence the Sufis because 
they knew that they had such a vast amount of power over the 
common people The Sufis were traditionally the most distant 
and furthest people from the governors or the government 

unless they were righteous rulers like Nizam al Mulk who Imam 
Ghazali actually helped to build the Nizamiyya system of 
teaching. And anyway [Sidi Ahmad Zarraq] says, 'Anyone who 

falls in any of these categories except for the last is either 


rewarded or excused and Allah knows best . 

77 http ://www. . 


Chapter two 

Islam and Sufis in Sudan 
Islamization of the Sudan 

The Sudanese Muslims culture is the product of the 
acculturation process that began in the seventh century A.D., 
and took place over the following centuries between the 
emigrating Arab Muslim culture and the indigenous Nubian 
culture. The exact date of the Muslim Arab penetration into the 
Sudan is unknown, but the presence of the Muslims Arabs in 
the Northern part of the country increased by the beginning of 
the seventh century A.D., following the Arab conquest of 
Egypt. At that time, the Sudan was under the domination of two 
Christian kingdoms: al-Maqarra in the north with its capital of 
Dongola, and Aiwa with its capital at Soba on the right bank of 
the Blue Nile south of the present day Khartoum . 

The complete Muslim domination, however, came about only 
after the collapse of the last indigenous kingdom, Aiwa, in the 

78 Sharafeldin E.Abdelsalam. A sudy of Contemporary Sudanese Muslim 
Saints' legends in sociocultural context. Unpublished PHD thesis, University 
of Indiana, 1983, p.38. 


beginning of the sixteenth century. Unlike that of al-Maqarra, 
the disintegration of the kingdom of Aiwa did not follow from 
peaceful infiltration. Its downfall was brought about by the 
collaboration of an Arab confederation under the leadership of 
Abdalla Jama and the Fung (an ethnic group of a controversial 
origin) by sacking its capital, Soba, and establishing a Fung rule 
in its place. The Fung, who were apparently an indigenous non- 
Muslim people, adopted Islam after the downfall of Aiwa and 
established the first Islamic kingdom in the Sudan with its 
capital at Sennar in 1505. They continued to rule the country 
until the ultimate fall of their era at the hands of the Turko- 
Egyptian anny that invaded the Sudan from Egypt in 182 1 79 . 

The beginning of the true Islamization in the Sudan, according 
to many historians, is said to be due to the efforts of some 
religious teachers who generally referred to as ulama" (learned 
men). This aspect of the propagation of Islam in the Sudan is 
recorded in Kitab al-Tabaqdt. 

The history of Islam in Sudan stands witness to the fact that, 
the spreading of its message to its furthest comers is due to the 
tireless efforts of the Sufis. The Islamization of the people of the 
Funj sultanate was largely the work of individual holy men, 

79 I bid :40 



who settled in the countryside, taught the Qur'an and 
endeavoured to bring social usages into conformity with the 
sharia, some of these teachers, were already active before the 
coming of the Funj. One such was Ghulamallah Ibn Ayid, 
whose father came from Yemen, and who lived in Dongola 
region, probably in the fifteenth century. Another was Flamad 
abu-Danana, who brought in the Sufi order tariqa of the 
Shadhiliyya to Berber district in 1445’. 

Holt (2000: 29) ' Holy men coming from Egypt, Baghdad and 
the Maghrib, taught the sharia and religious sciences, and 
initiated their followers into Sufi orders, particularly important 
was the Qadiriyya order, which was introduced into the Gezira 
by a visitor from Baghdad, Taj al-DIn al-Bahari, in the second 
half of the sixteenth century 80 . 'The pioneers of Sufi orders have 
moved to spread Islam creed. In the valley Nile of Sudan, and 
strengthen its teachings, in a simple way, based on imposing 
educational method, for the murid to follow, as well a certain 
doctrine of devotion, found in the continuity of dhikr, and 
awrcid. The degree of success of the Shaykh , in this concern 
bases on what they enjoy of status, spiritual sultan, ethics, 

80 P, M ,Holt, & Daly, M,W. A history of the Sudan from the coming of Islam 
To the present day. Pearson Education Limited. London, 2000, p.28. 

asceticism, karamat and baraka. Those Shaykh s turned to 
represent to their followers spiritual power with great sultan, 
feared by the public and those with sublime status. No doubt the 
Sufis were a source of goodness for poor, and being protected 
against the tyranny and injustice of the rulers, and they were the 
refuge at the time of ordeals 81 . Under the auspices of Funj 
merchants, invitations were forwarded to religious men from 
Egypt and Hijaz, to visit the Sudan, and stay for some time. 
During their stay the religious men would be the recipients of 
extreme generosity from their hosts and local ruling circles. The 
Sudanese masses, just like the rest of the Islamic world, had 
interests different from that of pure ularna and their highly 
abstract theological arguments. The interest of the ulama lay 
with merchants on the one hand, and the ruling groups on the 
other, while the Sufi interest was, not unexpectedly, with the 
oppressed peasantry and urban poor . 

Sufi orders in the Sudan were not just a gathering of followers 
around the charismatic personality of the Shaykh ; they were 
more organized than that. The Shaykh or his khalifa 
(successor) comes at the top of the hierarchy and usually lives 


82 Idris El-Hassen. Religion in society- Nemeiri and the turuq. KUP. 
Khartoum 1993. P, 30. 

— 137 — 1 

where the founder's tomb is located. The position more often 
than not is hereditary in the male line (according to the Islamic 
rules of inheritance). Baraka (grace) is the most important 
spiritual asset the successor inherits; it incorporates the core of 
the Shaykh's spiritual power to do miracles and act as a 
mediator with God. The successor can initiate muridin 
(devotees, disciples). Under the Shaykh are the khulafa 
appointed by him to take charge of regional areas under his 
influence. Obligations of lesser importance than complete 
initiation are sometimes delegated to the khulafa to perform 1 . 
Sufism is considered to be one of the components that constitute 
the Sudanese identity, as it is one of the major spiritual 
manifestations of Islam . This is especially the case as Sufism 
represents a current that intersects with the tenets and the 
fundamentals embraced by all religions. Certainly, it is a 
practice that has imprinted itself on the folds of human 
experience. The initial spread of Islamic teaching owed its 
impetus to holy men, often adherents of Sufi orders, who came 
from the Islamic heartlands, Egypt, the Hijaz, and the Yemen 
and, at a later stage, Morocco. Most of these holy men were to 
come after the rise of the Funj Kingdom, also known as the 

83 Idris el-Hasan, Religion in society- Nemeiri and the turuq. KUP 
Khartoum 1993, p:33. 


Sinner Sultanate after its capital Sinner. The funj rulers in their 
anxiety to legitimize their Islamic identity welcome 'Ulama' and 
Shift teachers to the country. These holy men were usually 
granted land and exemption from taxes and other dues. The 
early phase of effective Islamization was dominated by foreign 
Sufi and other scholars 

Historical accounts make it quite clear, that the advent of Islam 
in Sudan was not a sudden but a gradual change. Sufi paths have 
been spreading rapidly in the Islamic world ever since they have 
emerged; they have played an important role in the growth of 
Islam due to their approach which is mild and bringing forth 
love. The Islam of the Sudan during the Funj period was not 
influenced from Egypt, but the Hejaz, and this gave it a 
different tendency which endures to this day. The holy places 
being easily accessible, the pilgrimage played an important part 
in the process by bringing Sudanese into touch with the centre 
of Islam . Some Mecca scholars and holy men were induced to 
migrate to the Funj kingdom and many Sudanese studied in 
Mecca and Medina. These men introduced the nominal Muslims 
of the Sudan to a type of Islam they could readily appreciate 
and assimilate, and brought a measure of culture to a barbarous 
people. The main result of this connexion with holy places was 

the bringing of a living religion to the Sudanese in the form of 
that double aspect of one process- saint- worship and the 
religious orders. These orders were not organized in the sense 
that we now know them. Individual holy men came to the 

Sudan, established Muslims cells, and became objects of 


reverence' .The northern Sudan is inhabited largely by Arabic 
speakers, almost all of whom claim Arab descent and profess 
Islam . The Islamization of the north was a long and gradual 
process begun by the infiltration of nomadic Arab tribes in the 
late 9th century A.D, but as Holt indicates, "the true 
Islamization of the region was the work of individual teachers, 
who came from, or had studied in, the older lands of Islam . 
Many of these fakis , who began to appear in the Sudan as early 
as the late 14th century A.D., came from the Hejaz, or were 
Sudanese who, had studied in Mecca or Medina. When these 
holy men came or returned to the Sudan they became important 
instruments of Islamization through active proselytizing 85 . The 

85 Martin W. Daly. Collaboration in the Sudan. 1898-1919. An Islamic 
response to colonial rule: Collaboration in the Sudan 1898-1919. A thesis 
submitted-to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in partial 
fulfilment o requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Institute of 
Islamic studies McGill University Montreal, 1974, p.22. 

140 — — < 

principal innovations resulting from these relations between the 
Hijaz and the Sudan were the introduction of the religious 
orders ( fariqas ) and of the related practice or venerating saints. 
The fakis became not only spiritually influential but politically 
prominent as well, as intermediaries between the people and the 
rulers, and as advisors to the authorities during the period of the 
Funj Sultanate 86 . As it well-known, the Islamic religion has 
entered the land of Sudan, not as State. For the Islamic armies 
had entered Egypt, Iraq, Persia and others, as invaded armies, 
and as a result they came to destroy the existing regimes, and on 
its ruins, established an Islamic amalat. After that its inhabitants 
started to enter Islam . In the land of Sudan, Muslims started to 
come, as individuals and in groups, across the Red sea, or from 
the north, or from the west, to settle and mix with the 
inhabitants, a total mixing. One of Allah's wisdoms, is that the 
land of Sudan, has no prior knowledge, or hasn’t witness Islam , 
only on the aftermath of the Sufism debut, in Islamic 
practicality . Most Muslims live in the northern half of the 
country and the majority of them are Sufis who fall broadly 
under the Sunni mantle. Sudan has dozens of Sufi orders called 


Ibid; 22. 

Al-Boni and Saeed, al-Burai rajul a/waqt , Khartoum. 2000 p:24 

- 141 

tariqas or devotional paths 88 . The living role played by the Sufis 
in the spread of Islam and its culture, could also be found, in 
the words of Kathryn. M. Coughline in her reference guide 
book, Muslims cultures today (2006, 191) she writes: Sudan 
owes a deep cultural debt to Sufism , an approach to Muslim 
faith and worship rooted in personal piety that draws inspiration 
from exemplary leaders. Indeed, Sufism helped to spread and 
consolidate Islam in Sudan’s northern region over the course of 
several centuries. During the period of the Funj sultanate 
(ca. 1500-1 820), Sufi s of the Shadhiliyya and Qadiri orders 
helped cultivate Sunni Islam among the settled peoples of the 
Nile River and its Blue Nile branch . 

The Sufi brotherhoods 

As Sufism became institutionalized, the holyman was endowed, 
in the sight of society, with exceptional powers and faculties- 
the Baraka and karama of God. This endowment was the Will 

88 Timothy Carney, Victoria Butler and Michael Freeman. The Sudan: the 

land, the people. Publisher: Marquand Books, 2005, p. 20. 

89 See Kathryn. M. Coughline in her reference guide book, Muslims Cultures 
Today GREENWOOD PRESS, Westport, Connecticut • London, 2006, 

of God, with which the holyman was so closely associated, and 
it only remained to recognize the divine election' 90 . Sufi 
brotherhoods (tongas) represent a significant element in the 
Sudanese culture and beliefs systems as Islam mainly spread 
through Sufis tongas such as the Qadiriyya, the Shadhiliyya, 
the Sammaniyya, the Khatmiyya, the Tijaniyya and others. 
Since the Sinnar sultanate the tongas gained an influential role 
in the socio- political and sometimes economical realms 91 . The 
history of development of the tongas is at the heart of the 
relationship between politics in the country. The Sufi orders in 
the Sudan, as elsewhere in the Muslim world, drew their local 
representatives, mainly from among established religious 
teachers. Consequently, the different religious centres of these 
holy men, khalwas, masids and masjids , came to be integrated 
into these orders . 92 'The influence of the tongas was felt in two 
main waves, the first in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 

90 S, R, O'fahey, S, R. Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1 . The writings of 
Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden. The Netherland. 


91 Neil, McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab- 
Islamic Community in the Nilotic, 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern 
University Press. 1994. 

92 Dirasat Ifriqiyya, issue No , Khartoum , p.43. 


when the Shadhiliyya and the Qadiriyya were introduced, the 
second in the early nineteenth century, during a period of 
revivalism in many areas of the Islamic world. Among the 
important figures of the period were Sayyid Ahmad b. Idris al- 
Fasi (d.1837), whose teachings influenced the founder of the 
Majdhubiyya Muhammad al-Majdhtib al-Suqhayr (1796-1832), 
and the founder of the Khatmiya. Muhammad Uthman al- 
Mirghani (1793-1853). By the time of the Turco-Egyptian 
conquest, these and other orders were achieving important 
political status. The absence of a centralized hierarchy of ulami', 
combined with the tribal organization of the northern Sudan, 
resulted in the development of Sudanese Islam in distinctly .1 
spoke to Sadiqal-Mahdi (b.1932) former prime minster of the 
Sudan, he noted that the holy men, who are responsible of 
establishing religious foundation, allow Islam to spread in a 
relatively rapid manner, towards north of Sudan. Those holy 
men build mosques around a village, cities sprang up along the 
Nile, as the people flock to study under the very Shaykhs, as the 

93 Martin W. Daly. Collaboration in the Sudan. 1898-1919. An Islamic 
response to colonial rule: Collaboration in the Sudan 1898-1 91 9. A thesis 
sUbmltted-to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in partial 
fulfdment of requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Institute of 
Islamic studies McGill University Montreal, 1974, p.22. 

consequence of the Sufi Shaykhs, and from the Islamic 
conscious of the northern Muslims Sudanese, more than any 
proctor, they built mosques, establishing schools for the 
instruction of the Qur'an, educated the public on Islam , in 
addition to the knowledge of Islam , they- the holy men possess 
specific personal parts as that, they set them part of the ordinary 
individual, the characteristics of generosity karam, asceticism 
zuhd, and then pity warn, and holding of self-esteem in relation 
to these holy men 94 '. 'Sufi tradition played a predominated role, 
in the Sudanese Islam ever since the process of Islamization 
started. The propagators of this brand of popular Islam were in 
many cases, members of holy families, who had settled in the 
Sudan, and established centres of learning for their followers 95 . 
In the history of the Sudanese Islam, the religious brotherhoods 
played a highly significant role. In the Sudan, Islam was spread 
by pious men connected with one or other of the numerous 
religious orders which were then found active throughout the 
Islamic world. Although the work of proselytization was carried 

94 Kim, Searcy, Kim (2012- 8-21- YouTube) Spread of Islam in Sub Saharan 

Africa- Influence of Sufism .Associate Professor of African and Islamic 
history, Loyola University Chicago- 

9 5 Warburg (1992:10) 

1 ^^ 145 


out by these pious men, it was not backed in any formal way by 
the orders to which they belonged 96 . The principal turuq vary 
considerably in their practice and internal organization. Some 
orders are tightly organized in hierarchical fashion; others have 
allowed their local branches considerable autonomy. There may 
be as many as a dozen turuq in Sudan. Some are restricted to 
that country; others are widespread in Africa or the Middle East. 
Several turuq , for all practical purposes independent, are 
offshoots of older orders and were established by men who 
altered in major or minor ways the tariqa of the orders to which 


they had formerly been attached . 

The Qadiriyya and the Shadhiliyya parTqas 

The Shadhiliyya and the Qadiriyya tanqas were the first to 
enter Sudan and were prevailing during the Funj sultanate. Both 
tanqas were represented in Sudan by a number of independent 
branches each with its distinctive sanad and silislia and with 
little connection to the other (Karrar 1992-36), and each 
representing an independent centralized unit. 

96 Rahman, M.M. The Islamic policies of the Sudan Government, 1899 - 
1924, Durham PhD thesis University of Durham, 1967, p:77. 

97 C. Helen Metz. A country study Sudan. Federal Research Division 
Library of Congress. Washington D.C. 1991-96. 

The Gadriyya tariqa entered the Sudan in the year 1577. 
Agadriyya missionary by the name of al-Bahari proceeded to 
the Sudan, from Hijaz at the invitation of a Sudanese merchant 98 
(al-Bahari initiated five persons during his seven -years stay in 
the Gezira area, in the Sudan. Among those whom he initiated 
are the names of Muhammad al-Hamim, Ban al-Naga al-Darir, 
and Shaykh Ajib, the Abd allab ruler 99 . The circumstances of 
the coming of al-Bahari or the social conditions at the time are 
so obscure in the Tabaqat that is difficult to see, the reasons 
and implications, of the initiation of one member of the ruling 
group. 100 . The Qadiriyya was the most influential than the 
Shadhiliyya. The Qadiriyya is interested in the personal 
relationship between the disciple and God and is concentrating 
on esoteric sciences rather than the sharia, a fact that made it 
easy for non- Muslims to join it. The Qadiriyya in Sinnar was 
characterized by giving legitimacy to many pre-Islamic 
practices (Y.Fadul 1971:8). Thus, making it accessible to 

98 Yusuf Fadel, Hasan. Studies on Sudanese history. SUDTEK ltd. 
Khartoum 1974, p. 9. 

99 Idris El-Hassen. Religion in society- Nemeiri and the turuq. KUP. 
Khartoum 1993. P, 301. 

100 J,S, Trimingham. Islam in Sudan. 1949: 196). 


illiterate peasants and nomads 101 . The Qadiriyya tariqa since its 

inception in the Sudan dominate the scene almost exclusively 


until the Turko- Egyptian invasion of the Sudan'. 

The funj period (c.1504 to 1820) was dominated by the 
activities of the Gadiriyya and the Shadhiliyya orders. One has 
to emphasize the essentiality decentrelialized nature of these 
Siifi affiliations, which became assimilated into the 
characteristic Sudanese pattern of localized holy clans. These 
affiliations were autonomous branches, each with its 
independent, Shaykh and its particular chain of spiritual 
authority. When we turn to Shaykh Taj al-Din al-Bahari of 
Baghdad, the Sufi leader and follower of the Qadiriyya order 
(after Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani 1077-1166), we reached the 
beginning of the Hijazain influence; the introduction of Sufi 
tariqas or religious orders, that led to the creation of distinctive 
features of Sudanese Muslims culture. While in pilgrimage in 
Mecca, Taj Al-DIn was invited in about 1 577 by Dawud b. Abd 
al-Jalil, a Sudanese merchant from Arbji, to visit the Funj 
kingdom. There he stayed for seven years, during which he 
initiated a number of prominent Sudanese into the Qadiriyya 

101 Amani, M, El-Obei Sufi brotherhoods in Kassala & Gedaref States. 2005, 


I02 J, S, Trimingham. Islam in Sudan 1965, p: 195 . 


order: they included his successor Muhammad Al-Hamim b. 
Abd al-Sadiq, Ban al-Naqa al-Darrir, Hijazi b. Main, claimed to 
be the founder of Arbaji and its mosque, Shaal Din wald Al- 
Tuwayim; the ancestor of the Shukriyya, and Shaykh Ajib the 
leader; the Abd allabi chief. While in the Sudan, Taj Al-DIn 
approached Abd Allah b.Dafa Allah al-Araki, a leader who 
studied under Abd al- Rahman b. Jabir, to join his order, but 
Abd allah declined, arguing that he would restrict himself to 
religious learning. But when he saw the popularity of and the 
social status attained by the disciples of Taj Al-DIn among the 
Funj and Arabs, he changed his mind and went to Mecca. 
Finding Taj Al-DIn dead, he agreed to be ordained by his 
successor. Around those three men: Al-Hamim, Ban-Naqa and 
Abd Allah Al-Araki together with their descendants al-Sadiqab, 
Al-Yaqubab and al-Arakiyyun, the order continued to 


flourished until it was won the hearts of many Sudanese . 
Islam came to be more strictly and widely applied in place of 
traditional African beliefs as the 'holy men' and their fraternities 
purified and spread the faith'. McHguh (1994:2) states 'Muslim 
holymen and merchants alike gradually consolidated their 

103 Yusuf. Fadal. Hasan. Studies on Sudanese history. SUDTEK ltd. Khartoum, 

2003, p.37. 

position and increased their numbers. Their social influence 
grew even while the Funj state began its decline in the years 
after 1718. As the sultanate’s power steadily deteriorated in the 
eighteenth century, and as political chaos and lawlessness came 
to characterize the age, Muslim holymen stepped in to fill many 
of the functions previously performed by the Funj state. The 
tax-exempt communities (khalwas) controlled by lineages of 
prominent Sufi Shaykh s became loci of economic and social 
stability. It was in this period of turmoil that Muslim holymen, 
more influential than ever before, began to remake society in 
accordance with Muslim conventions as understood in the 
Central lands. McHugh regards the era of Funj decline as a 
critical period for the articulation of an Arab-Islamic 
consciousness on the part of the Blue Nile holymen. Ahmad 
(2008: 6) 'One of the most important developments in Islam that 
gave fonn to the religious practices among Sudanese Muslims is 
the prevalence of Sufism. As practiced by the Sudanese, some 
of the salient aspects of Sufism were the emphasis on ecstatic 
and place-oriented rituals, which resonated with earlier 
traditional practices, and the transmission of religion from a 
master to his students, which is consistent with the traditional 
passing of authority and oral transmission of knowledge. The 

contrast that sometimes is made between Sufi and orthodox 
Sunni Islam , which prevails throughout most areas of the 
Muslim world, does not apply in the case of Sudan. The 
Sudanese Sufis, and especially the leading families among them 
which came to dominate the political scene, saw no 
contradiction between their Sufi practices and their adherence to 
Sunni Islam . That is to say, they were able to make a peaceful 
merger between “traditional” and “orthodox” practices 104 . Islam 
has entered Sudan, by its own potential power, rather than being 
accompanied by a coercion authority. So, it was the people own 
will, it didn't enforce on them. And here, there was no ruler, 
who came, to tell that he takes his power and legitimacy from 
Allah. Thus, the politics had no role in the spread of Islam in 
Sudan, but it was a pure social matter . 103 

104 Anthony Sylvester. Sudan under Nemeiri. The bodily Head 
ltd.London.1977, p.25. 

105 Abd al-Atif al-boni & Abd al-Taif Saeed. Al-Buri Rajul cil-Waqat, 2000. 

Diagram 2- the major Sufi orders in Sudan 

What account for the spread of Sufism in Sudan? 

There are many factors that have contributed to the successful 
spread of Sufism in Sudan. Simplicity and flexibility could be 
counted of these factors. Other factors which found behind the 
successful widespread of Sufi orders in the country are: 


1- The geographical location of Sudan, and its nearness to 
Egypt, Higaz and Maghrib, for the Sufi orders were widespread 
in these areas. Therefore, these Sufi orders entered the Sudan 
back up by economic and social circumstances. The 
geographical location of the Sudan with its appropriate climate, 
environment, assisted the foreign preachers in their mission. 

2- The Shuyukh of the Sufi orders have found a warm welcoming 
from the people of the Sudan, as they enjoyed par-excellence of 
merits. This factor helps in drawing people to their side. 

3- The Shuyukh of the Sufi orders as well have found an 
encouragement and support from the rulers, mainly at the reign 
of Sinnar kingdom (Funj), sultans and kings 106 . 

Tolerance inside Sufi orders is among reasons that enabled Sufi 
orders to attract different sections of the society. The historian 
Hasan Maki once was asked ‘Why Sufis were succeeded more 
than the others in serving society and in spreading Islam ?’ he 
viewed the answer lies within the Sufis simplicity, modesty and 
tolerance, and in their addressing to the poor, the sick person, 

106 Nabil Hasan Abd al-Qadir. Al-Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im 
(1261.H.A/1845-1333 H. A/1914) unpublished MA thesis, University of 
Gezira, Faculty of education, Hasaheisa, 2005, p.2. 



males and females in tolerance, with blaming no one, nor 
criticizing any 107 . 

The impact of pasawwuf in the Sudan 

Since the early of its arrival to the land of the Sudan, tasawwuf 
has left its apparent living impact on all the spheres of the local 
inhabitants. The contribution of tosawwufi could be found in 
the religious, social, economic and artistic domain. The 
overwhelming results of the Sufi impact was its success in 
calming the sympathies, if it not the souls of nearly all the 
inhabitants. With the decline of the Christianity which resulted 
in increasing Islamization, a class of trained Muslims scholars 
began to transmit orthodox teachings. Their attempt to raise 
the level of religious sophistication was by no means an easy 
task in such an isolated, vast and backward country. Indeed, 
before the process of true Islamization was completed and 
before old customs and beliefs were eradicated, a more 
popular and less exacting types of Islam , Sufism, was 

107 http://gmsudan. com/20 13 1028/middle-class-and-Subsm-thecase-study- 

introduced'. The significance of the Sufi orders, to the religious 
life of the Sudanese may be seen in the fact that the Mahdist 
revolution of 1881against the Turco-Egyptian rule had its roots 
within the Sudanese Sufi context. Muhammad Ahmad was a 
Sammani Shaykh , and a follower of the teachings of the 
famous Sufi and scholar Ahmad al-Tayyib, before manifesting 
himself as the Mahdi 108 . Those men (the Sufis) have 
contributed greatly in the establishment of Islam bases in 
Sudan, and stamped it with the Sufi demission While in the 
conflict which inevitably had erupted in Sudan between the 
shari'a and hoqiqo men, the men of the haqiqo (the Mama), 
and the men of the tasawwuf, the scale had outweighed in 
favour of the men of the tariq, as Shaykh w. AbdAllah of 
Tabaqat in details had described'. Saddiq al-Mahdi sees Sufis 
have exercised considerable influenced, in the whole of the 
Sudanese religious, educational, social, and cultural lives. He 
has written 'Tasawwuf in Sudan has realized the following 
achievements 109 . 

108 Yousif, Fadal, Hasan. Studies on Sudanese history. SUDTEK ltd. 
Khartoum 2003, p.37. 


Saddiq, al-Mahdi. Mustaqbal al-Islam fi a/-iWaw.Omdurman.l985, p.2. 

1- Spreading Islam in Sudan peacefully and popularly, and 
setting basic channels for religious education and guidance. 

2- Expanding the Sudanese social norms by providing the wide 
broader results for containing the multi-tribes, and establishing 
living population centres, that in turn created the first nucleus 
for many of the Sudanese towns. 

3- Realizing the Islamic cultural unity despite of the multiple of 
the turuq, but they agreed upon unified cultural sources. 

4- Facing on the name of the native, the rulers with the advice, 
mediating and criticizing 110 . Sudan has long been noted for its 
faki, religious men who possess baroka, or holiness, and 
perform karamat or miracles. These men are often teachers 
and headmasters at kholwos, religious schools for boys. Such 
schools have played an important historical role in the 
development and spread of Islam in Sudan 111 . 'The Sufi orders 
in the Sudan, as elsewhere in the Muslim world, played 
significant social, economic, cultural and political roles. In these 

110 Ibid: 2. 

m Timothy Carney, Victoria Butler and Michael Freeman. The Sudan: the 
land, the people. Publisher: Marquand Books, 2005, p.21. 


organizations the ties of brotherhood were to supersede the 
old bonds of kinship' 112 . 

In the Sudan the religious brotherhoods also played an 
important Social role. In a country like the Sudan, traditionally 
divided by tribal loyalties, the brotherhoods have in some 
respects functioned as a social force, cutting tribal lines and 
binding members of different tribes and lineages together as 
spiritual brothers 113 . 

Almost every Moslem Sudanese belongs to one or another of 
the orders. While most turuq cross tribal boundaries, some are 
associated with particular tribes: the Isma'iliyya with the 
Bedariyya, the Hindiyya with the Kawahla, and the 
Majdoubiyya with the Ja'aliyyin 114 .The Sufi orders represent 
major component and dimension to Islam in Sudan, so, 
Brotherhoods, is a central dimension to Sudanese Islam 
." 'Despite the ups and downs of the politics, and the changing 
ruling of the different elites, Islam remains protected by the 

112 Ali Salih Karrar. The Sufi brotherhood in Sudan, 1992, p. 2. 

113 Rahman, M.M. The Islamic policies of the Sudan Government, 1899 - 
1924, Durham PhD thesis University of Durham, 1967, p:88. 

114 Turner (1979:68) 

1 15 http : //I ookl ex . com/ e . o/Sudan . rel igi ons . htm . 

society, for the tekke, shrines, and the Sufi Qur'anic fire 1 16 . 'The 
historical consciousness of northern Sudanese Muslims is all 
about dominated by the Muslims holyman or Shaykli , also 
known as faqih or fakl{pl., fuqara]'. The fuqara were 
specialists in tension management and conflict resolution . 
Sufism gave the Sudanese culture its African dimension and 
rites, which assisted to perform many of its religious, spiritual, 
and medical cure functions. As well had left an impact on the 
geographical distribution process, for some populated areas, 
which had social and cultural role, in Sudanese culture "The 
Siifi cultural legacy represents all the balanced forms of 
cultures, with all its traditions, habits, and norms, made the 
Islamic Sufi legacy a cultural vassal, accept all types of the 
other cultures, with what it holds of practices, habits and 
behaviour. For the Islamic spirit penetrated into the Sudanese, 
through peaceful way, as if they were culturally prepare to. For 
they found in Sufism , a sincere religious system that capable to 

Ibid: 25. 

117 Neil, Mchugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab- Islamic 
Community in the Nilotic, 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern University 
Press. 1994, p.10. 

express itself 118 . Professor O'Fahey believed that Sufism has a 
fundamental role in Turkish as well Sudanese culture, he points 
out "Sufism is fundamental to Turkish culture, as it is to 
Sudanese Islamic culture 119 . In their book al-Burai Rajul al- 
Waqt, the authors Alboni and Saeed (2000: 24) in regards to the 
story of Sufis and Islam in Sudan comment 'The entering of the 
Sufi orders in Sudan was a very great development, in the 
Sudanese social reality. The Sudanese society had never known 
the loyalty, except that one of the tribe, but with the affiliation 
to Sufism , a great considerable of new mixing has taken place. 
As one of the travellers had described the image, by saying: "at 
the entrance of khalwa , you find the shoe of the Shayqi , 
Dongolawi and the Ja'ali'. 

Throughout the history of Sudan, the Sufi orders have 
traditionally, exerted a profound influence on the daily life of 
the people, and they continue to be, popular today. Sufism and 
orthodoxy cannot be divorced from each other of the Sudanese 

118 Nasradin, FadalAllah. al-Athar al-thaqcifiyya wa al-jtemaiyya li al- 
TaSawwuf fl al-Sudan. Paper presented in 2005- Karima. University of 
Dongola. 2004, p.4. 

119 Halima Abdr-Rahman, Hussein Tuhami &Hamid Salih. Darfour from a 
historian's perspective, Sudanow vol xvl 1 1 No 2, February 1994. p:33 


Islam . The Sufi orders drew their members from all walks of 
life, from both towns and countryside. These members included 
sultans, rulers, tribal chiefs, religious teachers, qadis , 
merchants, farmers, nomads, women, children and slaves. The 
tafiqas in the Sudan operated on two different levels. They 
carried out missionary activities, among those who were already 
Muslims, and converted them to Sufism. However, they also 
functioned in areas on the frontiers of Islam , in the western 
Sudan, and the southern parts of the Gezira, where they 
converted non- Muslims to Islam . The impact and influence 
of Sufism and Sufi shrines in Sudan could be seen in the words 
of Idris al-Hasan (2993:24) who writes :"The Sufi shrines 
continued to act as a refuge for the poor, the abused and other 
victims of all sorts of injustice - having a social function beside 
their religious centres" . 

Tslamization which owed a great deal to the religious fraternities 
(. Tarriqas ). Sufism has developed the roles, and functions of some 
of the social institutions such as khalwa. For its pure devotional 
role (the entering of khalwa and seclusion, was a common matter 

120 Muddather, Abdr-Rahim. Imperlism and nationalism in Sudan. 3 rd 
edition. UKP. Khartoum 1991. P.7. 



Dirasat Ifriqiyya, Issue No. 9 July. 1993, Khartoum. P:24. 

among the awaliya and fuqara) the khalwa’s role has been 
conferred or transferred to serve educational as well devotional 
activity together. These khalwas have turned places, for educating 
the young, as well the followers. The exoteric sciences, as well 
Sufism , have brought back the role to the mosque, with its 
fundamental functions such as fatwa, judiciary, Qur'an 
interpretation, hctdith narration, as they were, at the mosques of 
Baghdad, Kufa, al-Aqsa, and Umayid mosque. 

The impact of Sufism in the Sudanese society 

The contribution as well the impact of the Sufis in the Sudanese 
society not only lay its shadow on the religious, social life of the 
local inhabitants, rather it has gone even to instill its seeds into 
the literary aspects of the very same people of the country, in 
this concern Muhammad Ibrahim al-Shush, has studied the 
influence of Sufism in Sudanese literature (Shush 2001), we 
find him says: 'And the Sufi influence is of the strongest 
presence in national Sudanese literature. It couldn't for any 
Sudanese sincere writer in his environmental expression, 
regardless of his personal situation or madhab , to overcome or 

m Nasradin, FadalAllah. al-Tthar al-Thaqafiyya wa al-Jtemaiyya li al- 
Tasawwuf fi al. Sudan. Paper presented in 2005- karima. University of 
Dongola, 2005, p. 9. 

— 161 

neglect this strongest impact. For the real literature- is 
expressing a real living. And never tried to replace it with a 
false one. We sum up and say that the Sufi spirit has its deepest 
influence, in the writings of the creative, on the varied literary 
genres'. The influence and the impact of Sufism in the Sudanese 
literature could be found in the writings of many talented, well- 
reputed poets, and authors. Such as Tayeb Salih, Muhammad 
al-Mahdi al-Majhdzub, Muhammad Abd al-Hai, al-Tijani 
Yusuf Bashir", al-Fituri 123 . 

Sufi influence can be seen in the fact that many Sudanese 
Muslims belong to religious brotherhoods known as tariqas 124 . 
The profound and obvious influence of Sufism on the 
development of the Sudanese personality, throughout the 
different ages and times, could be found in the views of so 
several historians and researchers. To O'Fahy Sufism has come, 
to make the Muslims Sudanese different from that, one of the 
other Muslims in the Arab world. In fact, I think that you're all 
Sufis, you just don't realize it! If you want to understand this, go 
to some- where like ' Oman, where there is no superstition at all. 

123 Mahammad Mahadi, Bushra . al-TaSawwaf Manb'a Elham wa Ibda'a , 
paper published by the University of Dongola, faculty of Arts, Karima 2005, 

124 SUDAN IN PERSPECTIVE An Orientation Guide, defense language 
institute foreign language centre, 2012, p.33. 


I grew up among ' Omani Arabs,' Omanis are Ibadites (Khwarij) 
and the 'Tbadiyya lias absolutely no Sufic tradition at all, I'm 
sure that you'd only have spent a few days, in Qatar, Oman or 
Muscat, and you would realize that these people are of course 
Muslims, but a very different kind of Muslims, to the 
Sudanese “ . 'In all these contacts, Islam occupied a central 
position. The tools of these contact were in the wandering 
scholars, the fakies (or fugara ), and the missionary Sufism or 
tariqas (religious orders). These religious orders contributed to 
the process of "socialization and polticalization brought up 
elites, bureaucracies and institutions of modern Sudan. This 
process of socialization welded by these dynamics (trade, 
nomads and Sufi missionaries) produced the most multi-ethnic, 
and multi-cultural identity of the present Sudan 126 . 'Folk Sufi 
Islam in Sudan brought popular legitimacy even when resisted 
by high minded authority. These religious practices brought 
explanation of the unknown, social order, displaced anxiety and 
brought war and peace, met human needs, and calmed disturbed 

125 Halima Abdr-Rahman, Hussein Tuhami &Hamid Salih. Darfour from a 
historian's perspective, Sudanow vol xvl 1 1 No 2, February 1994, p:31 . 
l26 Abdu,Mukhtar. Dirasat Ifriqiyya- issue No 34 - December, 2005, p. 15. 


souls 127 Sufism in Sudan is more far than a tanqa that connect 
its murids. It is a fundamental component in Sudanese 
personality; it was and still does an influential role and impact 
culturally, scientifically, socially and politically. It contributes 
in shaping the Sudanese personality, and it has the lion share in 
the religious loyalties of the people of the Sudan. Sufism in 
Sudan has a huge intellectual, cultural, literary and religious 
production, specifically its history has connected with the 
coming of Islam in Sudan itself. Sufism here distinguished with 
great social role, in the issues of reconciliation among the 
disputes tribes, whether those disputers are tribes or clans or 
whether the disputes in a family between a man and his wife, or 
between a family in one village with another. For this the 
people of tasawwuf have constituted or made a framework for 
the Sudanese judicial social reference'. However, the Islamic 
view in Sudan won’t be completed without mentioning Sufism 
(Islamic mysticism) which is equally prevalent (sometimes 
more dominant) “ . Quite independently of Taj Al-DTn and his 
disciples, the order benefited from the efforts of Shaykh Idris w 

l27 Richard, A, Lobban. Sudan’s Wars and Peace Agreements Cambridge 
Scholars Publishing 2010:15. 

128 http://www.hadielislam. com/arabic/index. php?pg=articles%2Fcategory&i 
d= 3209. 


al-Arbab, the famous saint, who according to one tradition was 
the first to 'light the fire of Abd al-Qadir ' or introduce the 
Qadiriyya order in the Funj territories. What made them popular 
was the belief that Sufis possesses baraka , blessing or goodness 
believed to emanate from holy men and that he acts as an 
intermediary between man and God' In fact these tariqas held 
such sway over the people that few stood outside their ranks. 
Therefore, it is not surprising that the Sufis were more revered 
by the rulers and adored by their subjects than the jurists. 

'Muslims Sufi masters have generally accepted the authenticity 
of non- Muslim religious experience, and encouraged 
introspective reflection on the part of their followers, thus 
synthesizing local elements. Hence, although several factors 
may have contributed to the atmosphere of mutual toleration in 
the Islamized northern Sudan, the Sufi influence was especially 
significant in fostering a spirit of moderation and tolerance “ '. 
Finally, on Islam in Sudan forum, which was held in 1983 at 
Khartoum, Saddiq al-Mahdi states: 'The Sufis tradition, with its 

129 John O. Hunwick, Religion and National Integration in Africa: Islam, 
Christianity, and Politics in the Sudan and Nigeria, Northemwestern 
University Press, Evanston, Illinois, 1992, p. 1 8. 



known tolerance, opened the way for many pre-Islamic 
practices to reappear in an Islamic form? 130 

Intellectuals and the role of Sufis in Sudan 

The Sudanese thinkers held their own views towards the role 
played by Shifts in the spread of Islam in its territories. 
Different and varied opinions have been pronounced out during 
the different periods since their (the Sufis) arrival to the country. 
In the words of Haydar Ibrahim (1999:21) 'Islam entered and 
spread in Sudan, by elements overwhelmed by nomadism and 
savageness, neither its religious education nor it's 
jurisprudential level above doubts, so with simplicity educated 
the local population, the way of performing the religious rites. 
And never tried to go on the deep jurisprudential or dogmatic 
issues . The earliest Muslims inaugurated the principle of 
reconciliation, with the reality and current situation, i.e. with the 
then dominated popular tradition, and this interprets the 
dominance of the popular non-philosophical Sufi dimension on 
Sudanese Islam . And the meant or intended Sufism here based 

130 See Sudanow, January 1983, p: 21. 

m Haydar Ibrahim Ali, Azemat alislam alseiasi- al-gabaha aleslama 
alqumiiyya fi al. Sudan Namuzajan. Cairo. 1999, p.36/37. 

on external rites like dhikr , madih and litanies 1 ’ 2 . 'Ibrahim 
(1979:160) elaborates on the penetration of Sufism: 'The Sufi 
orders penetrated into the Sudan, synchronizing with the 
decadence of intellectual Sufism in the fifteen century. For this 
reason the Sufism which entered the country was more practical, 
ritual and rather superficial than intellectual and philosophical, 
or in other, Sufi words an "external" Sufism and not "internal" 
Sufism ; the former concentrates on rites, while the latter 
concentrates on meditation 1 ”. While Sadiq al-Mahadi (2006) 
holds the view that, 'The carpet has provided the people of 
tasawwuf with the spiritual, social, and educational connection, 
transferred into a throat, in the society, through which they 
managed to spread guidance, reform, righteousness and 
education. And this has provided the people of the carpets, with 
great privilege of what they have gained and realized, the Sufi 
orders today turned more popular, than what it were before 
twenty years. For since the last quarter of the 20 th century there 
is a religious renaissance, in all faiths Hinduism, Buddhism, 
Judaism, Christianity and Islam . As long as human thirsts for 
spiritual and moral values, then he will look forward for 

132 Ibid: 37. 

131 148/unrestricted/03chapter3.pdf. 


religious relation. Sufi orders now, as I see it, have its role, 
mainly with the failure of Ingaz experience, which increases its 
strength, as it also increases tribal strength 134 . Sufi order in 


Sudan and from the ancient occupied the social capital 
Hasan al-Turabi (b.1932) sees that the 'Earliest Sufi Shuyukh 
ended with languishing in their kha/was, maybe teach 
something of the fundamentals of fiqh, as well focused on the 
inner, and on the tariqa loyalty, gathered people on, what 
exceeded fanatical tribalism, until the brotherhood become solid 
among them, and help in entering of non- Muslims into Islam , 
as well spread Islam more than what the jurists, princes, and 
this what is counted for the Sufis 136 . The Sudanese scholar Abd 
Allah al-Shaykh al-Bashir (d. 1994), viewed that the spread of 
Islam in the Sudan and in Africa, was achieved through the 
Sufis' efforts, fuqaha , huffadh , and madihun. And its efforts 
have been done, through the peaceful means, instilled the belief 
in the hearts of the native, and bringing them to the fold of 
Islam . And come later to bring out a radical change in their 
lives, prepared them to be nucleus of the first Islamic State in 




Al-Mahdi youtube 2006. 



the country. These four groups have spread Islam in the one 
million square miles which is Africa, not by the sword or others 
means of coercion, but by confidence, faith and sincerity. They 
succeeded in bringing about radical changes in peoples' 
lifestyles, replacing discord with consensus and heedlessness 
with remembrance of God, which lead to the founding of an 
Islamic State of Sinnar, which promoted Islamic thinkers and 
students alike to contribute positively to the field of Islamic 
studies . Islam made its deepest and longest lasting impact in 
Sudan through the activity of the Islamic religious brotherhoods 
or orders. These orders emerged in the Middle East in the 
twelfth century in connection with the development of Sufism, a 
mystical current reacting to the strongly legalistic orientation of 
orthodox Islam . The orders first came to Sudan in the sixteenth 
century and became significant in the eighteenth. Sufism seeks 
for its adherents a closer personal relationship with God through 
special spiritual disciplines. The exercises ( dhikr ) include 
reciting prayers and passages of the Qur'an and repeating the 
names, or attributes, of God while performing physical 
movements according to the formula established by the founder 
of the particular order. Singing and dancing may be introduced. 

137 Najat Mohmoud Siddiq. The Remembrance of God, Sudanow vol x v 
111 No 8, August 1994. P:8, 9. 

169 ^ I 

The outcome of an exercise, which lasts much longer than the 
usual daily prayer, is often a state of ecstatic abandon. The 
leaders of Sufi orders in Sudan have won acceptance by 
acknowledging the significance of the sharia and not claiming 


that Sufism replaces it .Islamic culture penetrated northern 
Sudan through traders and Muslim holy men. The holy men 
were missionaries who brought with them the Qur’an and the 
Islamic Shari 'a along with the Arabic language. Some of these 
holy men set up schools that taught religion and Arabic. A few 
acquired political influence and were awarded by leaders with 
great wealth. Overwhelmingly, these men transmitted the 
version of Islam known as Sufism. The more charismatic of 
them bonded with their followers into societies called “ tariqas ” 
(orders) . A transition from what may be described as a 
“Sudanic belt” pattern of individualistic holy men to a Middle 
Eastern and North African one with organized Sufi tariqas was 
beginning to take place. The coming of the tariqas into northern 
Sudan could be divided into two stages. The first, which may be 

138 Helen, C, Metz. A country study Sudan. Federal Research Division 
Library of Congress. Washington D.C.1991, p.96. 

139 0sman ,M, Ali. Islam- studies and contemporary world - Abi- annual 
journal - published by the centre of study Islam and contemporary world — 
Khartoum, 2007, p.9. 

dated from about the 16th century, began with the recruitment 
of some holy men into the decentralized “ancient” tariqas, the 
Gadiriyya and the Shadhiliyya. The second stage took place in 
the 18th and 19th centuries when the country came to be 
dominated by a number of centralized “reformist” tariqas, 
namely, the Sammaniyya, The Khatmiyya, the Idrisiyya and the 
Tijaniyya. As to the internal organization of the tariqas , it could 
be noted that the “ancient” tariqas were autonomous branches, 
each with its independent Shaykh and its particular chain of 
spiritual authority, silsila. The meeting ground for these 
branches was the common respect they paid to the founder of 
the order. By contrast, each centralized “reformist” tariqa had a 
Shaykh at the head of its hierarchy who enjoyed absolute 
authority and who was assisted by a number of khulafa , 
“deputies,” and local representatives 140 . The appearance of the 
Sufi orders in the Sudan, namely the Qadiriyya in 1577, added a 
much to the Islamization of the county. Sufism recognized the 
customary behaviour of the people and was integrated into the 
people's thinking and activities. The type of Islam which was 
developed by the Sufi orders conformed to the pre-Islamic 
beliefs and stuck deeper roots than the Islam of the ulama. The 

Qadiriyya order which built its doctrines upon local practices 
and traditions won the allegiance of many of the Sudanese and 
became the widespread order in Sudan 141 . 'With regard to 
Islamic mysticism in Sudan, we point to the fact that, the 
components of the Sudanese society itself, have profoundly 
influenced by tasawwuf. It could be said that the Islamic 
mysticism has created a platform for peaceful dialogue among 
the components of the Sudanese society, in its tribes, clans, in 
its tongues, traditions and even in its beliefs, other than Islamic 
beliefs. Thus, the present Sudanese personality, you find its 
roots and its original social and cultural features, in the life of 
tasawwuf ’ for what distinguish the Sudanese of soft-spoken, 
patience, manliness, integration and solidarity, and openness to 
the other, back to Islamic mysticism, and the spiritual education 
of tasawwuf 42 . "If there is a family in Sudan that does not have 
at least one Sufi member, it is not Sudanese. Sufism in Sudan is 
not a public issue or part of a national debate. Yet it is an 
enormously important force that has shaped, and continues to 
shape, the society as a whole. It is widely recognized that the 
extended family is of vital social and economic importance in 

141 M, W, Daly. Al-Majdhubiyya and Al-Mukashfiyya: Two Sufi tanqas in 
the Sudan- UKP. Khartoum, 1985, p.5. 

l42 al'al, 2000. 

this country, where poverty is widespread but real hunger rare. 
Strong family ties are traditional, but Sufism , which teaches the 
practice of sacrificial service for others, is an important element 
in the glue that holds many Sudanese families together 143 . 
Sudan, so far as was concerned, neo- Sufism fitted with the 
dynamics that already characterized the so read of Islam there: 
a gradual and spontaneous process, mainly mediated through 
the immigration of Muslims and their interaction and 
intermarriage with local people. Few of these immigrants were 
well-versed in Islamic doctrine, being mainly Bedouins and 
nomads, who were only marginally more than nominal 
Muslims. Therefore, even though Islam started to spread into 
Sudan in the seventh century, Dayf Allah writes in his Tabaqat 
that when the Muslims Funj Kingdom took over in central 
Sudan early in the sixteenth century, there was ' no record of 
any schools for the neither Qur'an nor religious learning'. 
Disregard for elementary Islamic rules was the norm, 'until 
Shaykh Mahmoud Al-Araki came from Egypt and taught 
people about {these rules} .The process started by Shaykh Al- 
Araki gave Sudanese Islam its distinctive features, for Al-Araki 
was also a Sufi Shaykh . From then on Sufis and ulama 

1 4 Tttp://www. sunni foaim. com/forum/showthread. ph p 9 29534-SufTsm-i n- 

Sudan-the-Sammaniya-T arTqa. 


reinforced each other, in contrast to other areas in the Muslims 
world where refonners had constantly risen against the excesses 
of Sufi heterodoxy (such as Wahabism in Arabia). Sufi groups 
also became the nucleus of the emerging Muslims society in 
Sudan. The residence of Sufi Shaykh s became new centres 
around which the Sudanese society was reconstituted. The tribes 
came to holy men for arbitration and for intercession with the 
authorities. The Sufi centres used the influx of wealth (in 
addition to welfare) for the establishment of learning centres. A 
Sufi centre thus became the focus of religious, cultural, 
economical and political life of the community. In catering for 
almost all the need of the community, these centres gave 
Sudanese society its present day form. The absence of conflict 
between economic, political and social demands in the life 
shaped by these institutions gave them enduring strength. And 
they managed to adapt themselves remarkably to changing 
circumstances. Sufism was far from other- worldly because the 
charisma of Sufi leader has essentially to be manifested in his 
worldly achievements. The absence of strong centralizing state 
in the pre-dominating tribal society and the fusion of tribe and 
tciriqci identification in most cases enhanced the role of Sufi 
leaders even further. In the eighteenth century, with its similar 

emphasis on Mama- Sufi synthesis. The eighteenth - century 
revivalism affected Sudan through the agency of several men, 
most of them disciples or associated of Sayyid Ahmad Ibn - 
Idris Al-Fasi (1760- 1835), a Sufi reformer and an 'alim who 
originally came from the North Africa and taught at Mecca 
before being forced by rival Mama to take refuge in Asir valley 
in southwest Arabia. Among the men who spread new messages 
in Sudan was Muhammad Al-Majdhoub Al-Sughayyir (1769- 
1833), himself a member of an established Sufi family residing 
in the vincity of El-Dameer, in the territory of Jaalalyyin tribe 
of north Sudan. Al-Majdhoub went in 1819 to Arabia, and 
stayed there for nine years, before returning to infuse a new 
dynamism in the Majdhoubiyya order which followed the 
Qadiryya and the Shadhaliyya traditions 144 . The local Islam of 
Liri revolves around the Qadirlya Sufi center and the leading 
Shaykli there, and from this brotherhood come the fuqara{ sing, 
fakl, faqih ) who have replaced the kujurs. The British fear of 
Sufism was well grounded. The Islamic brotherhoods did indeed 
turn out to be supra-tribal mass organizations, and the roles 
played by the Ansar of the Mahdist -based Ummah Party and the 

144 Abdelwahab El-Affendi. Turabi's Revolution: Islam and Power in Sudan 

Grey Seal - London, 199, p.19. 

Khatmlya of the Unionist Party in the politics of independent 
Sudan should suffice as examples. The thin layer of British- 
made Sudanese clerics could not stop the spread of the Sufi 
sects, nor attenuate their political importance. But it is also 
important to our discussion to note the effects of such 
brotherhood organizations on the local level. In the south of the 
Nuba Mountains, the MukashifTya branch of the Qadirlya order 
with its centre in the Gezira has been the dominant sect. The 
history of this tariqa in the southern Nuba Mountains goes back 
to the beginning of the present century and is related to the 
coming in 1906 of a faki to work as a missionary. This was 
Shaykli Bumawl, a West African, who had been initiated by the 
leader of the tariqa , the mukashifi. He travelled around for 
many years, teaching the locals, as well as taking wives from 
among them. Eventually he settled down in Liri and built his 
masid (centre, mosque complex) there. After his death his son, 
Shaykli Abd al-Baql, took over as religious leader in Liri and 
still occupied this position when I was doing research there. 
Around these leaders a group of followers developed the 
dervishes ( faqlr , pi .fuqara, also the plural of faki). These local 
converts became propagators of the new religion among their 
own people. The faki performs the Islamic rituals at important 
events, like name-giving, circumcision, marriage, and funerals. 


He likewise operates as a healer to the extent that he has been 
given power ( baraka ) to do so. The Qadirlya in Liri is a ritual 
and organizational unit with the great Shaykh at the pivotal 
point and with lesser Shaykhs as his representatives. This 
network of dervishes is very important for teaching illiterate 
people about Islam . The teaching of Muhammad and the 
content of the Koran are conveyed through direct contact 
between a Shaykh and his followers. The teaching in such 
encounters contains various elements of direct relevance for the 
daily life of the Lafofa. A central theme is what lawful halal is 
and what is forbidden haram in Islam . These teachings can 
subsequently be used to understand the reality with which the 
Nuba are confronted. People are told that beer-making and beer- 
drinking is -haram and not tolerated. They are told that women 
should be protected and not allowed to go shopping or sell 
produce and that young daughters should be married before 
their virginity is endangered. In this manner the Lafofa gain 
knowledge about Islamic standards and can use this knowledge 
to evaluate themselves and others in relationship to the central 
problem of being a Muslim or not being one. Thus to a Lafofa 
being a Muslim also means going to the places where Islamic 

teaching goes on, be it at anoba dance, a karama , a wedding in 
the village, or the masld 145 

Finally, it could be said that the people of tasawwwuf have 
played the vital role in the spread, the message of Islam in 
Sudanese soil. The historian Muhammad Said al-Qaddal 
(d.2008), comes to agree with the views, which stressed that 
Sufi orders, were behind the spread of the true spirit of Islam , 
in the Sudan, he writes; 'The dissemination of Islam in Sudan 
has been connected with the Sufiyya, which set up the masld , 
and khalwas, and connected with the awaliya kardmat, and with 
the Sufi personality himself, his weight among the people, and 
his ties with the ruling groups. The religious atmosphere is 
predominated by the taSawwufi with a little mixture of sharia 
and science, which arrived via limited channels. The people 
belief on the Sufi was deeper than their belief on th efaqaih. The 
" Tabaqat book of w.Dif Allah portrays this atmosphere, as well 
reflect the general view, standing beside the Sufi against the 
faqiah , in any conflict between them' 146 . 

145 O.Leif, Manger. Religion, identities and politics: Defining Muslims 
discourse in The Nuba Mountains of the Sudan. Bergen. 1993, p.20. 

14(1 See Mohammad Sa'id al-Qaddal. Imam al-Mahdi, 1992, p: 28 - 29. 

Chapter Three 

The Sammaniyya Sufi order 
Historical background 

The Sammaniyya is one of the most famous, Sufi orders in the 
Islamic world. To historians the first impulse for change, came 
through the Sammaniyya, whose origins lay in the tradition of 
the khalwatiyya Sufi order, which may be traced back to the 
fourteen century. The founder of the Sammaniyya Muhammad 
b. Abd al-Karim al-Samman (1132/1718 to 1189/1775), was a 
student of a Syrian Khalwati, Mustafa Kamal al-DIn al-Bakrl 
(1099/1688 to 1162/1748-9), who lived for long periods of his 
life in Damascus, Jerusalem, and Cairo. On al-Bakrfs death, his 
students set up their own independent branches. Among these 
students was al-Samman, who established new Khalwati 
branch, known as the Sammaniyya. 

To Oxford Islamic Studies website the Sammaniyya tariqa is 
“Activist, reformist branch of the revivalist Khalwati tariqa. 
Founded by Muhammad b. Abd al-Karim al-Sammani in the 
eighteenth century. Committed to formal Islamic law. Opposed 
to the traditional veneration of saints. Provided an 

organizational framework and inspiration for more militant 


revivalist movements. Spread into Sumatra, Indonesia, Egypt, 
and Sudan in the eighteenth century and became a major order 
in the Malay Peninsula, and throughout Africa in the nineteenth 
century. In Southeast Asia, writings by Shaykhs of this order 
provided inspiration for nineteenth-and twentieth-century jihads 
against the Dutch colonial occupiers. Famous adherents include 
Muhammad Ahmad Ibn Abd allah (the Sudanese Mahdi), who 
used the tariqa's teachings to denounce the corruption of faith 
in Sudan and to declare himself the expected Mahdi (messiah). 
In Sudan, a widespread network among the local population 
permitted it to become the basis for local organization and 
opposition to Egyptian rule, along with the Khatmi and 
Majdhubi orders 147 . Another branch of the Khalwatiyya, which 
had significant impacts on the Nilotic Sudan, was that of 
Muhammad b. al -Karim al-Samman, a student of the Egyptian 
Khalwati Shaykh Mustafa al-Bakrl (1687-1749). The 
Sammaniyya tradition is generally described as an offshoot of 
the revived Khalawtiyya affiliation, associated with Mustafa 
b.Kamal al-DTn al-Bakrl (d. 1749). The Sammaniyya hriqa did 



http ://www. oxfordi slamicstudies. com . 

develop into an independent order. The order subsequently 
spread to Egypt, the Sudan, Nigeria, and south-east Asia 148 . 

Hasan al-Fatih Qarib Allah (1933 - 2006) sees the Sammaniyya 
as one of the huge change of waves which appeared during the 
rule of Otlunan Sultanate during the second half of the 19 th 
century, he writes " the Sammaniyya tanqa is one of the huge 
changing waves that included the southern States for the ruling 
of the sons of Othman, in the Islamic world in the 19 th 



According to O'Fahey the Sammaniyya has left behind a 
significant impact in Nilotic Sudan, he comments 'Another 
branch of the Khalwatiyya, which had significant impacts on 
the Nilotic Sudan, was that of Muhammad b. al-Karim al- 
Samman, a student of the Egyptian Khalwati Shaykh Mustafa 
al-Bakrl . The Sammaniyya was spread into the Sudan by 
Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-Bashlr" (1742-1824). He was initiated 
into the Way on several visits to Mecca and travelled widely in 
the Sudan to form the basis for the new tanqa. This, then, was a 
clear manifestation of tanqa - Way as a more active principle 

I48 0'fahey (1994:91) 

149 Hasan al-Fatih Qarib Allah. Al-Tariqah al-Sammaniyya al-Tayibiyya al- 
Qaribiyya, wci itjatiha fi al-Tarbiya wa al-Suluk, Dirasa Ifriqiyya, issue 
No. 22, December 1999, dar gamiat Ifriqiyya for printing, 1999. Page. 19. 


than had prevailed in the Sudan earlier. It is not clear; however, 
to what degree an organization beyond that of a series of 
initiations existed at this time. Yet its influence remained 
strong; the Sudanese Mahdi started his career as a Shaykh of the 
Sammaniyya, and — notwithstanding the difference in content — 
the movement he built was clearly influenced by the fariqa 
model '. 150 

Shaykh Muhammad Abd al-Karlm al-Sammanl719 - 1775 

The highly charismatic al-Samman was born in Medina, to 
family of Quraish. He spent much of his life in Medina, and 
stayed at the historic house, owned by our master Abu-Bakr al- 
Siddiq, the first caliph to the prophet (PBUH) to the prophet of 
Islam. He died in the meant city and his grave is in the Baqi, the 
oldest cemetery of the city, which indicate that, he was held in 
great respect, in his native town, as it was great honour to be 
granted, a last resting- place- there, so close to the graves of the 
prophets wives, and many celebrities of Yore . 131 Al-Samman 

150 http://www. on_pouwels/history_islam_africa/s 
ufi brotherhoods_africa.html#n4 1 . 

l:,| Drewes G.W.J. A note on Muhammad al-Samman, his writings, and 19th 
century Sammaniyya practices, chiefly in Batavia, according to written data. 
In: Archipel. Volume 43, 1992. pp. 73-87. 


was the guardian of the Prophet's grave, and the author of 
several works, on Sufi metaphysics, but it was especially as the 
founder of a new order that he became influential. He combined 
the Khalwatiyya, the Qadiriyya and the Naqshbandiyya, with 
the North African Shadhiliyya (in all of which he had ijdza ), 
developed a new ecstatic way of dhikr, and composed ardtib , a 
litany consisting of invocations and Qur'anic verses. This 
combination became known as, the Sammaniyya. Samman's 
silsila only acknowledges his Khalwatiyya affiliation, through 
his teacher Mustafa al- Bakri), it already became a separate 
order, with its own lodges and local groups of followers, during 
the master's lifetime. Al-Samman moreover enjoyed a great 
reputation as a miracle-worker, which no doubt contributed to 
the rapid spread of the order. 'In the eyes of his adepts, however, 
he was far more than the pious custodian of the Prophet's grave. 
The manaqib - book composed only a few years after his death 
gives ample evidence of that. It is a full-fledged hagiography, in 
which none of the regular elements of the kind is lacking. It 
goes without saying that the piety and austerity which he 
displayed at an early age were a matter of amazement to his 
parents, just as recorded of many other holy men. No less a 
person than the great saint 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani of Baghdad 

(d. 1 166 ) came to see him and be gifted him with a white garb. 


After entering on mystical life he started teaching people of all 
sorts, and the gifts they brought him he distributed among the 
poor. His open handedness and scorn of worldly goods, though 
both of them constituents of the mystic's general style of life, 
are particularly emphasized and linked up with his mystical 
experiences. His spirit had ascended to the seventh heaven, 
where he had asked the Prophet the meaning of his prayer « 
Make me live and die a poor man, and gather me with the 
sighing poor on the Day of Resurrection ». It was on this 
occasion that the Prophet confirmed him in his dignity of 
special worship of which he was considered by his adepts to be 
the final incumbent ( khcitim al-wilayat al-khassa) Abdul- 
Mutalib (1995:108) Muhammad Nafis believes that 
Muhammad "Abd al-Karim al-Samman was a pole ( Outb ) of 
his time. This means, for him that the position of "Abd al- 
Karim al-Sammani is the highest rank in a hierarchical structure 
of saints". Muhammad as-Samman (1718-1775) was a famous 
' alirn and mystic, teaching in Madina. He was initiated into 
various other turuq besides the Khalwatiyya (notably the 
Qadiriyya, Naqshbandiyya, and Shadhiliyya), and combined 
elements from all of these into his own distinctive Khalwatiyya 

152 (Ibid). 


branch, which is usually called Sammaniyya (see Grandin 
1985 : 173 - 5 ). 

Al-Samman memorized the holy Qur'an at the age of seven. 
And at the age of nine became well-versed at the madhab of 
I m am al-Shafi, which is his madhab. And stood for the need, of 
the awaliya , who came to the visit of the messenger of Allah at 
the age of tenth 131 . His father is Shaykh Abd al-Karlm al-Qadiri, 
under who has memorized the Qur'an, read the principles of 
sciences, as well has taken the Qadiriyya tariqa. With Shaykh 
Muhammad Suliman al-Kurdi, studied the fiqh. While under 
Shaykh Abd al-Wahab al-Tintawi, studied the science of fiqh. 
From Shaykh Muhammad al-Daqaq took the sciences of 
hadith. It was narrated that Shaykh al-Daqaq, used to tell the 
people by saying: ‘This prosperous boy- meant al-Samman- is 
my esoteric Shaykh, and I, his exoteric Shaykh In addition, to 
the above mentioned of the dignified respected Shuyukh and 
scholars, he (may Allah sanctify his blessed soul), had received 
knowledge from the Shaykh Muhammad al-Magharbi, Shaykh 
Muhammad Higat al-Sindi, Shaykh Ali al-Kurdi, and Shaykh 
Ali Attar, and the qutb Abd Allah al-Hadad. Shaykh 

153 Abd al-Mahmud Nur al-Da'ima/-Kwws cil-Mutrci ’ a fi manqib al-Sada al- 
Arba, 201 l,p 


Muhammad al-Samman, in addition to his khalwati sanad, lie 
also wore the mantle of the Qadiriyya, at the hand of the 
muhadith , the leading hadith scholar, the mufti of Madinaal- 
Munwara, Shaykh Muhammad Tahiral-Kurdi (1312.1400 
A.H) 154 . 

After the death of al-Bakrl in the 12 th Rabb' Thani 1161 A.H/ 
1741 in Cairo, al-Samman spent ten years of continuous harsh 
spiritual exercises into khalwa (retreat). Then he started his 
independent tanqa, produced his own litanies and independent 
doctrine. Therefore we can say that the Sammaniyya tanqa 
started about 1171 A.H/1751. 155 

Several views have been said, concerning the origin and name 
of al-Samman, of which the Sammaniyya has been derived. For 
we found many of his students as well murids have strove in the 
inteipretation of the name, focusing on what suit the status of 
their Shaykh 156 . The name has gone synonymous with the butter 

154 (Ibid: 23). 

155 Amani Mohammad El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan, 
unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of Khartoum, faculty of 
Economic and Social Studies, 1997, P:82. 

156 Raba AN Osman. (1994) Torikh At-Torriqah o I -Sammaniyya h wa 
Intisharcih fi al-Sudan, fi al-Fitrah (1766-1898), Unpublished MA thesis. 
University of Khartoum, Faculty of Education, Department of History. 


selling. While in fact, and as the story life of the Shaykli has 
told, and been recorded, by his students, on his manaqib, the 
name has no relation from far or near, with practicing that such 
type of trade. 

And of those of his student who comes to comment on the name 
al-Samman, Muhammad al-Jifri on his commentary on Jaliat 
al-Karb he says: ( — for this he has gone fame with al- 
Sammani , for he (causes) the fattiness of the souls of his 
murids. He by his (al-Jifri) saying that Shaykh al-Samman used 
to nurture the souls of the murids with the adhkdr , and the 
beneficial of ulum till they fatten up . Moreover, and of the 
biography writers, who comes to comment on the name is 
Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im (1843-1915). 
However, in his book al-Ku'us al-Mutra'a fi Manaqib al-Sada 
al-Arba'a , wrote (2011:202) 'Al-Samman in al-Mawahib al- 
Sama'adaniyya of Shaykli Sediq b. Omer Khan, is the one who 
takes out the meanings and secrets, from the forms of utterances 
and books, as al-samn is taken out by butter - maker from the 
butter'. He went to add: 'al-Samman is the one by his madad, the 

157 Ibid: 32. 


lean hearts fatten up' also he said, 'al-Samman is the seller of the 
butter of gnosis' 1 ' 8 . 

The following lines in which the name al-Samman is 
mentioned, has been attributed to al-Samman personally: 

Ana al-Qadiri al-Sammani wa ismi Muhammad 
Wa Fakhari li al-Nasi fi al-Akwani Sha'i 
I am the Qadiri the Sammani 
And Muhammad is my name 

And my pride is widely-known to people in the universe 

As a Sufi who has combined between the Shari'a and the tanqa, 
al-Samman spiritual experience has come forth with sort of 
teachings, views and beliefs, crown all the mystic knowledge 
that he attained during his long fruitful saintly life. In fact these 
come to reflect philosophical as well theological understanding 
to several concepts and ideas, latter debated by theologians as 
well the enlightened people of tasawwuf. Among the most 
famous teachings of al-Samman are the following: Nur 
Muhammad, is one secret of all secrets of God. Nur Muhammad 
was the first to come before the other intangible, while his form 
is the nature or essence of this natural form. Moreover Shaykli 

158 Ibid. 203 


has views on Wahdat al-wujud, and insan kamil, the perfect 
man. 'al-Samman emphasized his tariqa’s objective as being the 
attainment of the haqlqa Muhammadiyya by means of 
attachment to the Prophet, to be achieved through (1) following 
the Qur'an and Surma, with or without a madhhab , with a 
Shaykli or through shath ; (2) following the Prophet through 
“love, contemplation and gnosis”; (3) istihddr (recall) of the 
vision and person of the Prophet while continuously praying on 
the Prophet; and finally, (4) istihddr of the haqlqa of the 
Prophet' 159 . 

Al-Samman is a qualified prolific prose- writer, alim, and 
accomplished poet. The historian Brockelmann has listed the 
following works of the Shaykh: 

1 .al-Futuhdt al-ildhiyyqfi 'l-tawajjuhat al-ruhiyya (The divine 
revelations; dealing with the marks of spiritual favour), on the 
subject of the Nur Muhammad the Prophetic Light, which is 
generally considered the first thing created and the principle of 
all creation 

2. al-Nafhat al-Oudsiyya: this is poem. 

Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2005, p: 57. 

3- al-Istightatha , (The call for help), a prayer consisting of 39 
verses in the rajaz. 

4- MukhtaSer Al- Tanqat Al-Mu hammadiyya. 

5- Jaliyat al-Kurbi wa Manilat al-Arb 160 . Which is the wide- 
fame invocation, among the Sammaniyya followers. The 
invocation begins with: 



Allah O Allah O Allah: O You The shelter for those 

Who ever come to you. O my succour 



We call on You and we are in real need for Your help. 

We entreat to You by all attributes of Yours, by the 
appearances 161 . 

On the Saldwat , prayers upon the prophet, al-Samman has 
composed so a lot, among the most famous is Salat al-Nuqtah ; 
the centre of the existence circle prayer. 

16 ° 
8613 1 992_num_43_l_2807. 

161 Allah- 


The main teachings and doctrine of al-Samman 

Like many of the eighteenth and nineteenth century orders, the 
Sainmaniyya doctrine is centred round the concept of the 
Muhammadan Reality. The prophet is the mediator between 
Allah and human beings; the prophet's love is the base of faith, 
the door of knowledge and the secret of power. Out of the 
prophet's light, the creatures have been created; and out of his 
generosity, favd peoples and trees live. By the prophet's love, 
the slave obtains his needs and diminishes in his Great light, 
reaching his ultimate goal. Thus it could be said the ultimate 
goal of the Sufi , is reaching the prophet. The prophet is 
conceived as a light (Nur) that descends from the Hadra 
Wahidivya to the Hadra Ahadiwa . His light is the origin of all 
lights acquired by the prophets or Awliwa 162 . 

There are two basic concepts dominating al-Sammani's 
doctrine: The first one is the reality of the prophet which is 
reached by following his Sharia. The second one is the secret of 
the reality of the prophet which is reached by crossing the sea of 
love. Anyone who follows the prophetic tradition esoterically 

162 Amani Mohammad El.Obeid. The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan, 
unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of Khartoum, faculty of 
Economic and Social Studies, 1997, p. 92. 

— 191 

and exoterically will cross the sea of love to find himself within 
the prophet's majesty. Here one can find the influence of Ibn 
Arabi's doctrine of the perfect man ( Al-Insan Al-kamil ) which is 
form of the Greek idea of Logos. Ibn Arabi's Logos represents 
the agent through which Allah can emerge from His 
absoluteness, His unknownableness into manifestations. The 
prophet thus becomes the agent of Allah 's manifestation in the 
world. Muhammad being the seal of the prophets is seen as the 
most complete of these manifestations. This complete 
expression of Allah through man is the heart of the idea of the 
perfect man, a microcosmic being who unites the Creator and 
created attributes of the Essence, is at once the image of Allah 
and archetype of the universe. Having approaching the prophet's 
ideal as the ultimate goal of the disciple, is a realization of the 
personality of the prophet. This realization implicitly entails 
social quality and respect of the human being regardless of race, 
sex or religion. This is shown in Ibn Arabi's statement, 

My heart is capable of every form, a cloister 

for the Monk, a fane for the idols, a pasture 

for gazelles, the pilgrims’ Ka'aba, the Tables 

of Torah, the Quran. Love is the faith I had: 

wherever turn His camels still the one true faith is mine. 

The perfect man is closely related to the concepts which Ibn 
Arabi developed of the "Light of Muhammad" (Al-Nur 
Muhammadi ) of the Reality of Muhammad ( Al-Haqiqa al- 
Muhammadiyyd). Tbn Arabi says that this idea is: 

The creative animating and rational principles of the universe, 
the first Intellect, he is the reality of realities whose 
manifestations is in the perfect man. Every prophet is a logos 
whose individual Logi are united in the idea of Muhammad. 
The Perfect is he in whom all the attributes of macrocosm are 
reflected. The reality of Muhammad is the creative principle of 

1 /TO 

universe and the perfect man its cause ' . 

According to al-Sammani , being attached to the prophet's 
majesty is divided into two types: 

1) Visual attachment. 

2) Spiritual attachment. 

The visual attachment itself is divided into two parts: 1) 
Following the teachings of the prophet that are found in Quran 
and the Sunna. This is by fulfilling it through the four 
Madhahib (Shafi, Maliki, Hanafi and Hanbali). Al-Samman did 
not confine himself to only one Madhab . He put more emphasis 



on ijtihad. For him following of the ideal of the prophet could 
not be attained unless through guide (Shaikh) or through 
attraction by God {Jazhbllahi). 

ii) Following the prophet through love and contemplation or 
artistic temperament. The spiritual attachment is divided into 
two parts: 

a) Recall ( Istihdar ) of the prophet's vision and feeling piety, 
politeness, greatness and majesty of the of the prophet's 

b) Recall (Istafldar) and of his complete and fine reality. 
According to al-Samman the prophet was created from the light 
of al-Dhat al-Ilahivva and sums its deeds, effects, influence and 
sequences. Moreover, al-Samman states: "that the prophet's 
status is that between the Absolute Reality and the realities of 
the created beings. For this reason, his status is above all 
creatures and under Allah alone" 164 . 

According to al-Samman, the Muhammadan Reality can be 
realized via three levels, which are i) The physical level; ii) The 
spiritual level; the conceptual ( al-Ma'na ) level. In every new 
and higher level, the apparition is a more complete one and fine. 



Ibid: 97. 

Prophet Muhammad's appearance differs from one level to the 
other. His appearance on earth differs from his appearance in 
heaven, and his appearance in heaven differs from his 
appearance on the Right side of the Throne and the latter differs 
from his appearance before Allah where the concept of place 
and form have no existence. One aspect of the Muhammadan 
reality is that his light apparition is turned into space and this is 
his highest status before Allah . Al-Samman's doctrine of al-Nur 
al- Muhammadi is very clear in his Salat al-Minha al- 
Muhammadiwa fi Al. Salat 'Ala Khair al-Barivva. 

Abd al -Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im in his explanation of the 
Sammani doctrine concerning the Muhammadan Reality, stated 

His light is like the sun. However, the sun's 
light spreads only over parts of the earth 
but his light spreads over all the world at the same time. 

He explained further that the prophet's light is like a mirror that 
reflects light all over the world. His Dhat . (Essence) is reflected 
in it. Therefore what is seen by various people at different 
places is the image of His Dhat . Those who are preferred by 

Allah see his Dhat directly. The prophet's image appears in two 
hundreds and forty-eight thousands forms. 

For al-Samman, the disciple who says prayers and blessings to 
Prophet Muhammad, even in presence, continuously while 
recalling his vision will soon be very near to him. The levels of 
praying to the prophet are: praying with tongue, with heart, with 
the spirit ( Ruh) and secretly. Those who bestows blessings on 
the prophet will gain paradise, and those who bestows on Him 
with hearts, spirits and secret will gain a nearer to Allah . 

Therefore the Sammaniyya tonga from the outset has a dualism 
of orthodoxy and Sufism. This dualistic nature in the local 
Sudanese society shaped the development of the Sammaniyya 
tonqa in Sudan 165 . 

Shaykh al-Samman's manqib ’s writers have attributed several of 
precious words of wisdoms and sayings to him, of his speech 
(may Allah be pleased with him)': ‘And whoever wants the 

attainment of Allah, ought to come to us, and whoever enters 
our zawiya, counted on us'. 'My sons, you have to stay late at 
night, for the one who in the state of waking, is better than the 
one who in the state of sleeping, even if he isn't busy with 

165 Ibid: 98. 


dhikr'. 'And whoever took my torlqa , and read my wasilah , and 
my prayer Nuqtat Dairat al-Wjuud , the centre circle of the 
existence, I will put him in the way of the messenger of Allah 
(PBUH), and his end will be good' 166 . (May Allah be pleased 
with him), used to starve himself, and he may fell fainted as the 
result of pain. His father used to say, to him, while he was in 
such state: 'Are you starving?' He used to answer 'No', but I 
have an example, in the messenger of Allah. 

The Shaykh holds a view on who the true guide ought to be, he 
says: The true master makes his pupils rise, from love of the 
world to disinclination for it; from ignorance to knowledge; 
from desire to contentment, and from dislike of worship to 
fervent devotion'. Quoting Nafis, that Abd al-Karim al- 
Samman, says 'to become a saint, a Sufi should subject himself 
to certain disciplines as regards solitude, hunger, silence and 
awaking. Further, a Sufi should have passed through stations 
such as mujahada and Muragaba" . It was also attributed to 

166 Abd al-Mahmud Nur al-Da'im al-Kuus al-Mutra’a fi manqib al-Sada al- 
Arba, 2008, p.48 

167 Abdul-Mutalib, 1995, p. 1 10. The Mystical Thought of Muhammad Nafis 
al-Banjari. Unpublished MA thesis, McGill University. Montreal. Canada. 

him, the saying: 'The real Shaikh is not one who adopts harsh 
training with his disciples and followers, but he who develops 
them while are continuing their daily worldly and commercial 
activities' 168 . Also of his sayings: 'Anyone who is initiated into 
my order will get worldly prosperity and acceptance in the Last 
Day even if he did not conduct jihad al-nafs (self-discipline)' 169 . 

Ahmad al-Tijanl and Muhammad ‘Abd al-Karim al-Samman 

There is no doubt that Ahmad al-Tijanl had been influenced by 
one of the most important Sufi figures of the 18th century, 
Shaykli Muhammad ‘Abd al-Karim al-Samman (1717-8-1775) 
whose influence extended to various parts of the Muslim world, 
such as the Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Southeast Asia. 
However, his strongest influence was to be in Indonesia and the 
Sudan' 170 . 

168 Amani Mohammad El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya lariqa, the doctrine and 
politics, unpublished in political Science, University of Khartoum, 
faculty of Economic, 1997, p;79. 

169 Ibid:79 

170 Ahmed Muthallib, published paper. The Objection to The Claim of 
Meeting the Prophet Muhammad in a State of Awakedness According to 
Muhammad al-Shinqltl. Jakarta. P.239. Refleksi, Volume 13, Nomor 3, 
Oktober 2012. 


As c AlI al-Barada tells us, it was upon the suggestion of Ahmad 
ibn ‘AbdTllah al-HindI12 that Ahmad al-Tijanl met al-Samman 
when he visited Medina after completing his hajj and decided to 
study with him. Even though he only stayed with al-Samman 
for three days, he acquired a great deal of esoteric knowledge 
from him. Al-Barada does not specify what kind of esoteric 
knowledge al-Tijanl learned, except that he later admitted in a 
letter that al-Samman had initiated him into the ahzab of the 
ShadhilTya, the wazlfah of Muhammad al-Zarruq, and the 
data ’il al-khayrdt, which he kept practicing even after founding 
his own Tijanlya tarlqah. In addition, it is obvious that Ahmad 
al-Tijanl knew the teachings of al-Samman on the visualization 
of the light o Muhammad either through the Futuhat al- 
Ildhiyah, or at least via his earlier direct contact with him. In al- 
Tijanfs mystical teaching, al-Samman’s ideas are expressed 
and the influence of his Futuhat al- Ilahiyah is clearly 
discemable 171 . Thus, the writers' biographies of Shaykh Ahmad 
al-Tijani (1737-1815), mainly of his students and murids , 
pointed to that remarkable meeting of al-Tijani, with 
Muhammad Abd al-Karhn al-Samman, in the prophetic city. 
Sidna Shaykh Tijani has met with Shaykh Sannnan at Madina 



during the pilgrimage of 1186/1771. Having been informed of 
the presence of Shaykh al-Samman by the Shadhili gnostic Sidi 
Ahmad ibn Abdellah al-Hindi (d. 1187/1773); Sidna Shaykli 
sought a meeting with him. Shaykh Samman was equally a 
pupil of Shaykli al-Hifnawi . Upon his meeting with Sidna 
Shaykli Abil Abbas Tijani, he gave him a special permission in 
the 99 Divine Names, the Ahzab of Shaykh Shadhili (d. 
656/1241), the Wthifa of Shaykh Zarruq (d. 899/1484), the 
Dalail al-Khayrat of Shaykh al-Jazouli, and the al-Dnr al-’Ala 
of Shaykli Ibn Arabi al-‘Hatimi (d. 636/1221), and other arcane 
pearls. Sidna Shaykh was told of what lay ahead of him, in the 
realm of excellence by Shaykh al-Samman. He told Sidna 
Shaykli that he is the Dominant Pole ( al-Outb al-Jami') and 
gave him good tidings, that he will realize his aspiration and 
obtain the "Absolute Poleship" (al-Qutbaniya al-'Udhma) . This 
was followed by his request that Sidna Shaykh agree to meet 
with him, and then spend three days in seclusion. At the end of 
this period he, Shaykh Samman, would instill in him full 
spirituality. Sidna Shaykli excused himself from this, however, 
and was then asked to make his request, which he did, and he 
was given the required assistance. After accomplishing the 
ziyara (visitation) to the Prophet’s Tomb, where “God 
completed his aspiration and longing” to greet the Prophet, 


Shaykh Tijani went to visit the renowned Shaykh Muhammad 
Abd al-Karim al-Samman (d. 1189/1775). Like al-Kurdi, al- 
Samman was a member of the Khalwatiyya order, being one of 
two students given full ijaza (pennission) by Mustafa al-Bakrl ; 
the other was al-Kurdi’s Shaykli , Muhammad al-Hifni. Aside 
for his own intellectual and spiritual prowess, al-Samman has 
become famous on account of another disciple, Ahmad al- 
Tayyib(d. 1824), who spread his ideas in the Sudan as the 
Sammaniyya order. Before Shaykh Tijani’s departure, al- 
Samman informed him of certain secret “names” and told him 
that he was to be the al-qutb al-jami ’ (the comprehensive Pole) . 
The official website of the Tijaniya, pointed in the biography of 
Shaykli Ahmad al-Tijani, that Shaykli Abd Allahi al-Hindi had 
appointed him, to the meeting of Shaykh Muhammad Abd al- 
Karun al-Samman, it was written: 'He also announced him his 
impending encounter with the well-known Saint and “Supreme 
Pole” ( Outb Jami ’), Sidi Muhammad Ibn Abdel Karim Samman 
(May ALLAH be satisfied with him) who died in 1775. In fact, 
he met him in Medina and this one, made him go on a retreat for 

three days and revealed him the great powers and secrets of 

1 70 

famous pious “men of God. 

172 The Tijaniya website. 


Al-Samman has been blessed by many noble, righteous sons, 
who came to successes him, they were: 

1 -Sayidi Shaykli A-Karlm, most properly initiated by his father. 

2- Sayidi Shaykli abu-El-Hasan, bom in the first of the 13 th 
century of hijra, initiated under Sayidi Shaykli Hasib al- 
Kubawi al-Maghrabi, the student of Sayidi Shaykli Ahmad al- 

3- Sayidi Shaykli Muhammad b. Shaykli abu-El-Hasan (1246- 
1266 A.H), initiated in 1261 A.H, under his father's student 
Sayidi Shaykli Muhammad Salih al-Halabi, he was not 
exceeded twelve years, at the time of his father’s death. 

4- Sayidi Shaykli abu-El-Hasan b. Shaykli Muhammad 
b. Shaykli abu.El-Hasan (1265-1291 A.H). 

5- Sayidi Shaykli Muhammad b.abu.El-Hasan (1284-1266 A.H). 

6- Sayidi Shaykli Ahmad b. Shaykli Muhammad (1304-1366 A.H). 

7- Sayidi Shaykli Hashim b. Shaykli Ahmad (d. 1396 A.H). 

8- Sayidi Shaykli Dr-Tariq b. Shaykli Hashim (d. 1992) 173 

173 Hasan, al-Fatih, Qarib Allah. (2004. P. 98. Al-Dur al-Dini wa al-Gitimai 
wa al-Fikeri (ll'tariqa al-Sammaniyyah). Muhanad. M. A. Khartoum. 

Figure 2- 2 Shaykh Jariq al-Samman d. 1992 


grandsons and 

i T>r|[llJJ2) 

Diagram 3 - The grandsons and khulafa" of al-Samman. 


Figure 3- 2 al-Baqi' cemetery in al-Madina al-Munawara where 
al-Samman was buried. 

The Sammaniyya around the world 

The Sammani Order of the Sufis, spread throughout the world, 
owes its very existence to him. The Order now claims murids of 
many people in its fold, in different countries and climates, 
having different names and nomenclatures, belonging to 
different nations and guided and inspired by, and devoted to the 
great guide and leader Shaykh Sainman. A number of several 
zdwiyas in the Hejaz and in Yemen, Sudan, Nigeria, Eretria, 
Indonesia, America and Britain etc. were founded, attracted a 
great number of followers. ‘al-Samman had numerous students 

from Maghreb, the Sudan and Eretria, the Hadramawt, 


Afghanistan and Indonesia’ 174 . Among the most famous 
celebrated students, comes Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib 
Bashir (d. 1742- 1824) (Sudan), Sediq Omer Khan (India), in 
Indonesia is Abd al-Sama'ad Palembang (South Sumatra). 

Sammaniyya in Egypt 

As the sources have emphasized the history of the Sammaniyya 
in Egypt has been connected with Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib b. 
al-BashIr"(d.l823). After many years spent in teaching and 
guidance at his grandfather's mosque, whose student of Shaykh 
Hasan w. Husuna (d.1664) and with invitation from his murids 
and lovers, my master Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib travelled to 
Egypt. Daraw was the first place that he visited. He stayed 
many days in the place and initiated huge numbers of people, 
among the noted figures was Shaykh Ismael b. Taqadeem, who 
later wrote a book focused on the manqib of sayidi Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib, and what he (Ismael) received from him of 
guidance and instruction. From Daraw, and at the very same 
visit the Shaykh' s delegation had directed to Aswan, and there 

174 S, R. O’fahey, 1994, 91. Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. The 
writings of Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden. The 

he spent days and came also to initiate a lot of followers. Then 
he directed to Qena the land of the well-noted wall, Sharif 
Abdr-Rahim al-Qinawi (1127.A.D), people came to him in 
groups, and guided the numerous, and gave taslik to several of 
those who were interested . In Azahir al-Riyad of Shaykh 
Abd al-Malnnoud w.Nur al-Da'im, twenty thousand at (Qena) of 
the Egyptian countryside had been guided by him 176 . Among the 
most famous of the followers, sayyidi Abd Allah the khalifa of 
Shaykh Abdr-Rahim al-Qenawai (1127 A.D). The Shaykh 
continued in guidance and initiation, while he was there, until 
he entered Sohag, and among the perfect that had been guided 
was Shaykh Shikhoon al-Wizi. At the city (Sohag) mosque, 
kardma had occurred, for when he (the Shaykh) entered its 
mosque for the Friday prayer, he ordered his students to held 
dhikr, after they finished the prayer rituals, he stood at the 
middle of the circle of dhikr, and here, he pointed with his hand 
to whatever of the things inside the mosque, consequently 
everything had gone with him in yearning, longing, ecstasy and 
passion and in remembering, to the point the presence, wherein 
heard the stone and mud, remembering Allah with eloquent voice. 

175 Hasan al-Fatih Qarib Allah. Dur al-Shaykh Ahmed Al-Tayyib fi ll'fikr 
wa al.Dciwah ila Allah, majalt al-qwam, issue 15, 1987, p: 5- 6- 7. 

176 See Azahir al-Riyad, Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im, p: 204. 


And then the Shaykh departed to Assiut, for a lot of people also 
had been initiated into the Sammaniyya, from the city nobles, 
and scholars, and here he gave ijdza of khalafa to Shaykh Ahmad 
al-Syuti. And from Assiut to Cairo of which his fame had 
preceded his coming. Thus, the nobles, the scholars led by al-Izz 
king deputy, the shuyukh of the turuq and Azhar scholars had 
come to welcome him. Many had shown the wish of Shaykh's 
staying with them, but the Shaykh preferred not to mix his visit 
with politics, so he decided to stay at the mosque of al-Ashraf. 
His guidance mission had continued also here, so you also find 
him leads prayer, offers lessons to students of knowledge, attends 
the awrad, mends the differences among the people, and gives 
support to the poor and the broken-hearted. These actions and 
deeds had been the source of respect from the scholars. Also he 
used to visit the Azhar and then listening to the ulamd". Shaykh's 
admiration with Shaykh al-Amir who was one of the famous 
noted ulamd” in the Maliki madhab , had let him to sit with him, 
in his own circle of learning So, Shaykh al-Amir went very 
happy and then came to accompany the Shaykh and took from 
him the tariqa, and recommended his students to be salikeen of 
the Sammaniyya. It was narrated that one of Shaykh's al-Amir 
sons, the judge of judges Shaykh Ahmad al-Silawi had admired 

the Shaykh (Ahmad al-Tayyib) to the point that he married one 

1 11 

of his daughters, and name one of his sons after him . 

The Sammaniyya Khalwatiyya branch of Shaykh Shaykhoon al- 
Lithi, the grandson of Shaykh Shaykhoon al-Wizi the famous 
student of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr" has an influential 
impact in the area of al-Gumailiya, the province of QuS. Shaykh 
Shaykhoon al-Lithi is considered one of the great awalTya , and 
scholars. He is famous with the nickname of abu al-Makarim. He 
belongs to al-Ababdah tribe. What he has done when he came to 
settle at the village of al-Gumailiya he initially built a mosque, 
which went with the name of abu-Sultan, while later turned to be 
named masjid al-Lithi. The tariqa has a living Sufi activity 
represents on the holding of circle of dhikr , science and guidance. 
Mandhumat al-Sammdni is read among the aw rad and adhkdr. 
The tariqa has numerous students, didn't confined to al-Lithi 
family. The khalifa now (2015) is Shaykh Abd al-Satar al- 
Lithi 179 . 

177 Hasan al-Fatih Qarib Allah. Dm al-Shaykh Ahmed Al-Tayyib fi U'fikr 
waal-Dawah Ha Allah, majalt al-qwam, issue 15, 1987, p: 8-9. 

178 Known with Jaliyat al-Karab , also with the name of al-Samman 



Figure 3- the late Sliaykh Shayklioon al-Lithi, of the 
Sammaniyya Khalwatiyya - Egypt. 

Figure 3-1 the author is standing in front of Shaykli MuStafa al- 
Bakrl tomb in Cairo August 2014. 

Sammaniyya in Indonesia 

The history of the presence of the Sammaniyya in Indonesia is 
very ancient, back to the time of the founder Muhammad 'Abd 
al-Karhn al-Samman (1718-1775). Several historians and 
researchers have come to point out that the arrival and then the 
strong presence of Islam , in Indonesia, has linked with coming 
of the Sufi orders, and among the hailed efforts in this concern, 

was what had been done by the founder's students during his 
own lifetime and after his passing away. 

The other branch of the Khalwatiyya associated with 
Muhammad b. Abd al-Karim as-Samman, is of more recent 
date and has entirely different origins. Most if not all of the 
present local branches are affiliated with the charismatic Haji 
Abdar-Razzaq alias Puang Palopo, who gathered a large 
following in South Celebes in the early twentieth century. The 
present strict separation between the two branches and the 
present 'popular' character of the Sammani branch probably date 
from this period. Earlier incursions of the same branch appear to 
have been easily integrated into the existing network of Yusufs 
Khalwatiyya. His most celebrated Indonesian disciple was 
'Abdas-Sama'ad al-Palimbani, who is generally considered to 
be the person who introduced the Sammaniyya into the 
Archipelago. However, the Celebes branch does not derive from 
'Abdas-Sama'ad. Abd al-Sama'ad al-Palimbani (ca.l 704-89) 
originated from the Pal embang. Through Abd al-Sama'ad that 
the Sammaniyya came to be firmly established in Palembang 
and elsewhere in the archipelago 180 . 



Voorhoeve 1960:92. 

The emphasis was often passed through newly established or 
reformulated Sufi orders (tarekat), such as the Qadiriyya- 
Naqashbandiyya and the Sammaniyya. The latter in particular 
had an important impact on the development of Islam in 
Southeast Asia. Especially through prominent adherents, such 
as Abd al-Sama'ad al-Palimbani. Abd al-Sama'ad is known for 
series of tracts, and letters urging Muslims of the Malay world, 
to struggle against increasing European encroachment'. The 
most celebrated of them is Muhammad Arshad al-Banjari (best 
known for his Malay fiqh work Sabil al-muhtadin); the others 
were Masri Betawi (an Arab scholar from Batavia) and 'Abd al- 
Wahhab Bugis (Zamzam 1979:8). The last-named then would 
have been the first Bugis to become a devotee of the 
Sammaniyya. He appears not to have returned to Celebes, 
however, and therefore cannot have spread the tanqa there. 
After his return from Arabia he settled at Martapura near 
Muhammad Arshad, whose son-in-law he had become. Shaikh 
Samman had at least one other Indonesian student, a certain 
Yusuf from Bogor, and he seems to have been the first to spread 
the Sammaniyya to Celebes. The Sammaniyya was perhaps the 
first tanqa with a mass following in some regions in the 
Archipelago. On the other hand, based on its solid tradition of 

mystical practices and spiritual connection to the founder of the 
order in the heart land of Islam , the Khalwatiah Samman 
seemed stood on its mystical heritage confidently during the era 
of social and political changes in Indonesia. The popularity of 
the Sammaniyya and the Qadiriyya wa Naqshbandiyya no doubt 
was to a large extent due to the reputation of Shaykh Samman 
and 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, for supernatural intervention on 
behalf of their devotees. The loud, ecstatic dhikr of these orders 
and the invulnerability it was believed to impart, were factors 
that impelled these tarekat towards their roles, in anti- colonial 
and anti-aristocratic rebellions. Contrary to what in retrospect 
one would expect, these orders in their heyday never ran into 
opposition from circles of fuqaha. In fact, their Indonesian 
pioneers, Abdussama'ad Palembang ('Abd al-Sama’ad al- 
Falimbani) and Ahmad Khatib Sambas, were equally known as 
scholars of fiqh as of tasawwuf. It is only much later, from the 
1920s on, that we encounter reformists frowning upon the 

I O I 

ecstatic dhikr and the belief in the saints' intercession ‘ . 

lsl Radtke, F. de Jong & B. Islamic mysticism contested: thirteen centuries of 
controversies and polemics. Leiden: Brill, pp. 705-728. 999: p 721. 

Syeikh ‘Abd al-Samad al-Palimbani (1704-1792) 

Abd al-Sammad Palembang (sometimes also spelled al- 
Falimbani), whose work active literary life in Makkali and Taif 
in Arabia extended from 1178 AH 1768 AD to 1203 AH 1792 
AD. He was scholar from Palembang, Sumatra who studied in 
Makkah, in the second half of the eighteenth century. His works 
of study were — as evident from his own works — Islamic 
scholastic theology ( ufiiil al-din ), Islamic law ( fiqh ), and finally 
Islamic Sufism. ( taSawwuf) . 

Until now he has been considered as one of the greatest Sufi 
writer belongs to the silsilah sulub and ratib in the Sufi's m 
order of Naqsyabandiyah founded by the grandson Guru Haji 
‘A.H Tua or ‘Abd al-Shamad Haji ‘Ali (1872-1964) in 
Sumatra. Furthermore, as a pupil of Muhammad ‘'Abd al- 
Karim al-Samman al-Madani (d. 1775), ‘Abd al-Samad al- 
Palimbani has been well known as the greatest syeikh of 
Sammaniyya h order in South Sumatra province. The 
Sammaniyah order has much contributed to the defense of 
Palembang Sultanate from attacks of Dutch colonialism (181 8— 
1819). Al-Palimbani’ s work on Jihad (the holy war) written in 

182 Rosnani Hashim. Reclaiming the Conversation: Islamic intellectual 
Tradition in the Malay, Selengor, Malaysia, 2010- p: 17. 


1772 in Arabic was considered as the first work in this genre in 
Malay and has widely inspired the Aceh war in Sumatra against 
the Dutch in the late 19th — early 20th centuries. At least it was 
reflected in Syair Perang Menteng («A Poem of War against 
Muntinghe») and remarked in the white «Baju-Bakan» (the 
white clothes for holy war) of Palembang collected in Saint 
Petersburg Syeikli ‘Abd al-Samad al-Palimbani wrote at least 
seven his own original works in theology, Sufism and 
philosophy. Based on the short description above, we 
understand well that al-Palimbani played an important role in 
Islamic development and reformation in Southeast Asia region. 
Ironically, until now his third work, the manuscript of Tuhfat al- 
raghibin (written in 1774) is unstudied enough. Neither P. 
Voorhoeve [Voorhoeve 1960: 92], G.W.J. Drewes [Drewes 
1976: 274-275], Vladimir I. Braginsky [Braginsky 1983], M. 
Cliatib Quzwain [Quzwain 1985], Azyumardi Azra [Azra 1995] 
nor Martin van Bruinessen [Bruinessen 1997] concern to the 
fact that the manuscript is important to research. Most of them 
focused their study based on the most popular master pieces of 
al-Palimbani, Hidayat al-salikin (finished at Mecca, 5 
Muharram 1192) and Sair al-salikin (finished at Tha’if in 
1203). According to P. Voorhoeve and Vladimir I. Braginsky 
the manuscript titled Tuhfat al-raghibin fi bayan haqiqat al- 


iman al-mu 'min in wa ma yufsiduh fi riddat al-murtaddin is the 
third main works of Syeikli ‘Abd al-Samad al-Palimbani. 
Recently there are three manuscripts of Tuhfat al-raghibin : one 
is stored in The National Library in Jakarta [Katalogus Koleksi 
Naskah Melayu Museum Pusat Jakarta... 1972], another is 
under the collection of The Branch Institute for Oriental Studies 
in Saint Petersburg, Russian Academy of Sciences (in Soviet 
era named as Institute of Oriental Studies) [Braginsky, 
Boldireva 1977: 131-174], and its copy (microfilm) stored in 
the Library of Leidens University. 

It does not mean that the Jakarta verse (register in the collection 
of Von de Wall No. 37) is not significant, but at least it could be 
considered as a comparison and an addition verse to the Saint 
Petersburg version. Unfortunately, the Jakarta’s edition is not in 
a proper condition. The first pages of this verse are lost and 
arranged disorderly, while the Saint Petersburg-one is very well 
stored and written in better script. The manuscript of Tuhfat al- 
raghibin is presented in the following structure: begins with 
statements in Arabic, then its explanation in Malay (or Jawi 
script). It discussed some questions of Islam such as theology 
(kalam and ushul al-din ), Sufism ( taSawwuf ), and as far as 
Islamic law and its traditions (fiqh). Tuhfat al-raghibin consists 

of four parts; preface, the first chapter about «The True 
Faith», the second about «Those which could destroy the 
Faith», the third talked about «The Principle of apostasy 
(nddat)», and the fourth was «An Epilog about Repentance 
(taubat)». The Tuhfat al-raghibin manuscript consisted on 102 
pages and had never printed yet. In this work al-Palimbani was 
coloured not only by the Arab- Persian, Central-Asian, but also 
by African Islamic traditions. If the Arab- Persian traditions of 
al-Palimbani were represented by some works of both al- 
Ghazali and Ibn ‘Arabi, his Central-Asian traditions were 
reflected at least by Abu Yusr Muhammad al-Bazdawi’s 
opinions. And Zakaria al-Anshari and ‘Abd al-Wahhab al- 
Sya’rani represented the African (Egyptian) traditions. 

For example, in the preface part of the text of Tuhfat al-raghibin 
‘Abd al- Samad al-Palimbani mentioned that he answered 
several religious problems which were offered to him by using 
the various points of view of the most authoritative authors in 
Islam ic disciplines. His elaboration of Iman is similar to the 
definition made by Abu-Hasan al-Asy’ari in his book: Kitab al- 
luma’ fi alradd alii al-ziyagh wa al-bida [al-Asy’ari 1955: 123] 
and of Abu Manshur al- Maturidi in his work Kitab al-tauhid 
[al-Maturidi 1979: 372], Both al-Asy’ari and al-Maturidi said 

that faith ( iman ) is a conviction by heart ( tashdiq al-qalb ) and 
not a verbal expression (ikrar hi al-lisan). Even though al- 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Samad al-Palimbani, wrote a Malay-Jawi text 
entitled Siyar al-salikin ila ‘ibadat rabb al- ‘alamin. The Siyar 
al-salikin is a translation-cuin-commentary of the Mukhtasar 
ihya’ ‘ulum al-din written by Abu-Hamid al-Ghazzali. It has 
been acknowledged that with this work, "Abd al-Samad 
successfully transmitted al- Ghazzali’s teachings to the Malays 
which left a great impact on their religious life and thought. Of 
greater significance however, and which is more our concern in 
this paper, is his application of al-Ghazzali’ s teachings in his 
attempt to solve the problems of an intellectual and religious 
nature faced by the Malay community during his time. ‘Abd al- 
Samad perceived the basic problem faced by the Malays was 
their confusion on the orthodoxy of the Sufi tradition as 
intellectually adhered and religiously practiced by some of the 
Malay scholars and their followers in the Sufi orders turuq ). He 
connected this problem to two main factors: first, the lack of 
knowledge among the Malays on the essential teachings of 
taSawwufi and second, the scholars who suffered from self- 
delusion and who misled their students. In this paper, I will 

show how in the Chapter on the Censure of Self-Delusion 
(, ghurur ; terpedaya) in the Siyar al-salikin, ‘Abd al-Samad 
approached the problem and gave his solutions. Firstly, he used 
his authority and knowledge with the support of other scholars 
in the al- Ghazzalian tradition of Sufism to validate the 
orthodoxy of these groups. Secondly and more creatively, by 
using his encyclopaedic scholarship he provided an extensive 
bibliography stage of study to ensure qualification to access 
esoteric knowledge as well as avoiding misunderstanding of 
doctrines. In this way, ‘Abd al-Samad made al-Ghazzali’s 
spiritual teachings relevant and useful to the Malays in their 
attempt to discern truth from falsehood when dealing with 
various currents of thought and beliefs prevailing at that time. It 
is evident that the problems faced by Malay-Muslims three 
hundred years ago remain relevant and important today. Hence, 
following Shaykh ‘Abd al-Samad’s footsteps, we can like him 
respond creatively and draw from our Islamic intellectual 
tradition to solve our present predicament. 

The tariqa now (2015) has a living contribution, available on 
the internet in form of written texts and videos mainly on 
YouTube, the materials were distributed in Malay language. 

The tariqa could be reached through the following websites: 

Figure 3- 5 the grave of Shaykh Abd al-Samad al-Falimbani 142 

Figure 3 -6 Muh a mmad Zaini bin Abdul Ghani al-Banjari, the 
most famous Sammani Shaykli in Indonesia 1942 -2005 142 

Sammaniyya in Nigeria 

The Sammaniyya has strong presence in Nigeria, murdis of the 
bariqa, counted with millions. The effort of the spread of 
Sammaniyya teachings, in this African country has been done 
through Shaykh Muhammad Nasir Kabra (1912-1996), student 
of Shaykli Muhammad al-Fatih Qarlb Allah (1915-1986). In 
1949 Nasir made the Hajj and met the new Khalifa, Shaykh 

Hashim and Shaykh Muhammad of Mauritania. On his return 
journey, he visited the Sudan, where he met with Shaykh 
Muhammad al-Fatih b. Shaykh Qarib Allah, Khalifa of the 
Sudanese Sama'aniyya. He also visited other Arab countries 
where he leamt many things concerning the hadra and bandiri 
organization. By 1950 Shaykh Nasir was in many ways far 
more versatile and eclectic than his teachers; and having 
successfully made Sufism acceptable to wider audience, he was 
thus able to make Qadiriyya penetrate into every part of the 

1 RT 

country . 

Shaykh Nasir Muhammad Umar Kabara 1912-1996 

Shaykh Nasir Muhammad Umar Kabara, a noted Islamic 
scholar and philosopher was born in 1912 in Guringuwa village 
outside Kano, Nigeria. His grandparents came from Kabara, a 
town under Timbucktu kingdom. His third generation 
grandfather - also from Kabara in Timbucktu - Mallam Umaru, 
also known as Mallam Kabara was the only one from the 
lineage to settle in Adakawa in Kano city, before moving on to 
what is now known as Kabara ward, named after him. He was 
an accomplished Sufi in Timbucktu before departing for Kano. 

183 http://en. Abdulgalil_Salih/sandbox. 


The first thing Mallam Kabara did on settling in Kabara ward 
was to establish a school in 1787, of a sort commonly referred 
as Zaure School where the outer entrance hall of his house was 
converted into an Islamic school. This school possibly among 
the oldest recorded schools in Kano is now part of the Daral 
Qadiriyya household of Shaykli Nasiru Kabara. 

The youthful Nasiru was extremely enthusiastic in his search for 
knowledge. His first encounter with advanced Islamic learning 
system - long after he had graduated from the normal Alio 
(Qur'an read from wooden slates) schooling system, emerging 
extremely fluent in Arabic language, Islamic jurisprudence and 
Linguistics - was with Bad'ul Amli and Murshida, both treatises 
on Tauhidi; the unity of God. Next followed a voracious apepite 
for other books and soon he had completed his studies of 
Alilari, Iziyya and Risala: all books necessary for a proper 
understanding of Islam . Because in Islam there is no concept 
of copyright, soon after the youthful Nasir was himself 
typesetting the Risala and Ishiriniya (book of poetry in praise of 
the Prophet) and selling them. 

His learning process was essentially self-motivated; with of 
course appropriate encouragement from his main teacher: 
Mallam Natsugune. Consequently, the youthful Nasiru was a 

voracious searcher of Islamic knowledge, being far ahead of his 
contemporaries - indeed he was actually preaching to his 
classmates his advanced understanding of the meaning of the 
Quran; thus sowing the early seeds of his entry into Tafsir at 
such tender age. 

In Kano of that era - 1920s - there were five advanced schools; 
essentially what can be considered pre-university schools now - 
where the young Nasiru used to go, on his own, to further his 
knowledge. These schools were: 

1. The House of Deputy Imam of the City Central Mosque, 
located in the Daneji ward. 

2. The House of Mallam Ibrahim, Chief Judge of Kano at 
Yakasai ward 

3. The House of Bichi Circuit Judge, Alhaji Musdafa at Kurawa 

4. The House of Sheik Abdulkarim (Mallam Sambo) at 
Ciromawa ward 

5. The House of Chief Imam of Zawiyya, Mallam Inuwa at 
Mayanka ward 

These schools had extensive reference libraries containing 
collections obtained from various North African scholastic 
centres. All form the central core of Nasiru's thirst for further 

Even at that age, his acquisition of knowledge was more than 
rote learning; he questioned what he did not understand from 
his teacher; thus being extremely revolutionary in his 
understanding of Islamic knowledge. The traditional perception 
of the relationship between the pupil and the master in the 
Islamic schooling system rarely gives room for interactive 
acquisition of the knowledge. Nasir did not accept such didactic 
relationship, and consequently, with diffidence and respect, 
always requests for further elaboration of what he did not 
understand of what he learnt from his teachers - who themselves 
were only too willing to oblige the young scholar. This was not 
surprising, even in the "archaic" 1930s Kano, considering the 
fact that some of his other teachers were graduates of the Al- 
Azhar University in Cairo, the oldest university in Africa. Thus 
Nasim Kabara combined two intellectual traditions: his 
Timbuktu ancestry when Timbuktu itself was a citadel of 
learning in the Sudan; and his contact with visiting scholars and 
professors from Al-Azhar in the 1930s in Kano. 

Among the local residents in Kano who joined the Qadiriyya at 
this time (1937) was a young lad, Muhammad Nasir Kabara, 
who was destined to bring great changes in the toriqa and not 
only to introduce the celebration of the birthday of Shaykh Abd 
al-Qadir al-Jilani, a festival which was not practiced by the 
North Africans, but also to carry the use of bandiri to every 
corner of Hausaland. 

At the age of seventeen, Muhammad Nasir was really too 
young to be accepted as a member of the Qadiriyya but, as his 
grandfather, Mallam Nakabara - an extremely well learned 
Mallam - wished him to enter the order, Shaykh Sa'ad had a 
little choice but to give him the wazifa. Although a youth, Nasir 
was not only well read in classical Arabic literature and 
sciences but he was also conversant with the learning of Sufism 
and the works of the leading Sufi scholars of the time. 

When the Amir of Kano Abdullahi Bayero went on the hajj 
Nasir sent a letter through Wall Sulaiman to the Khalifa of the 
Qadiriyya, Shaykh Abu al-Hassan as-Sammani, the grandson of 
the founder of the Sammaniyya , asking him to give him an 
ijaza to become muqaddam of his own zawiya. The Shaykh was 
astonished to hear of such a highly learned youth and he sent 

ajubba and cap to Nasir together with a letter of appointment as 


a muqaddam. Although Nasir did not immediately separate 
himself from the community in Alfindiki, as Shaykh Sa'ad was 
still alive, his actions were regarded as innovations by the 
Arabs. In 1949 Nasir made the Hajj and met the new Khalifa , 
Shaykh Hashim and Shaykh Muhammad of Mauritania. On his 
return journey, he visited the Sudan, where he met with Shaykh 
Muhammadal-Fatih b. Shaykh Qarib Allah, Khalifa of the 
Sudanese Samaniyya. He also visited other Arab countries 
where he learnt many things concerning the hadra and bandiri 
organization. By 1950 Shaykh Nasir was in many ways far 
more versatile and eclectic than his teachers; and having 
successfully made Sufism acceptable to wider audience, he was 
thus able to make Qadiriyya penetrate into every part of the 

Thus since about 1958 Nasiru Kabara has been considered the 
leader of all branches of Qadiriyya in Kano. The lines of 
authority within the leadership structure, however, may be 
viewed in terms of both the individuals whose authority extends 
over several branches and the particular patterns within each 

Nasiru Kabara received his original authority in Kuntiyya and 
Ahl al-Bayt from Ibrahim Nakabara, who was the dominant 

figure linking nineteenth and twentieth-century Qadiriyya in 
Kano. Ibrahim (ca. 1867-1941) was Fulani and his grandfather 
was originally from Katsina. He learned a wide range of 
subjects from his father: law, theology, literature, logic, and 
grammar. He learned astrology from Mahmud Kabara; law (the 
Mukhtasar) from the babban mallami, Abdurrahman al-Sayudi; 
and Sufism (especially Qadiriyya) from his father and from 
Ibrahim of Zaria, who had come to Kano. By the age of thirty, 
he had become a legal adviser to Emir Aliyn. He was offered 
the position of alkali (judge) but refused on the conviction that 
mallams should not be involved in government. He did not 
travel outside Kano and continued his position as legal adviser 
under emirs Abbas, Usman, and Abdullahi Bayero. He was also 
the personal mallam of Emir Usman. Ibrahim did not write 
books, although he did possess his own written commentaries 
on the Mukhtasar. His home in Kabara ward was a centre of 
higher learning in Hausaland. One section of his compound was 
set aside for studies of theology and mysticism, and another 
section was set aside for studying law. He was not an ardent 
proponent of solitude (klialwa). Although there were other 
leaders of traditional Qadiriyya in Kano during this period, 
Ibrahim's authority was reinforced by his personal qualities of 
piety and knowledge and by his effectiveness as a teacher of 

mallams. He was not succeeded in this authority by his son but 
by his student Nasiru Kabara, who exhibited these same 

Nasiru Kabara"was "given" to Ibrahim na Kabara as a child and 
grew up in his household. As a Fulani, Nasiru has had access to 
the Traditional Qadiriyya mallams in Kano. Through his 
abilities as a scholar and teacher, he became the likely heir to 
Ibrahim na Kabara." 

During the period from 1935 to 1955, Nasiru was successful in 
establishing direct contact with the primary sources of 
Qadiriyya authority in Khartoum, Timbuktu, and Baghdad; and 
thus he became increasingly independent of Traditional 
Qadiriyya lines of authority. His trip to Baghdad in 1953 was a 
turning point in his career. It established his authority directly 
within the international headquarters of Qadiriyya; while in 
Baghdad he studied classical and modern aspects of Qadiriyya, 
and subsequently he introduced or interpreted much of this 
material for a Nigerian audience; his sole traveling companion 
to Baghdad was the wealthy merchant, Sanusi Dantata. As a 
result of the trip, Nasiru secured the financial support for his 
campaign to reform Qadiriyya and extend it to a mass level. 

Upon his return from Baghdad, Nasiru opened his own 
Qadiriyya mosque and declined to attend the mosque of 
Muhammad Sidi. By 1956 most of the leadership and laity had 
aligned with Nasiru and a rapprochement was reached with 
Muhammad Sidi. During this period Nasiru travelled 
throughout northern Nigeria opening mosques and appointing 
muqaddams. He also nurtured his contacts in the Arab world, 
returning twice to Baghdad and visiting Khartoum, Cairo, 
Beirut, Damascus, Tehran, and Amman. In 1958 he was 
appointed headmaster of Shahuci judicial School and Library in 
Kano. In 1961 he opened his own Islam iyya Senior Primary 
School in Gwale ward and has continued teaching advanced 
subjects in his own home. 

In 1949 Nasiru was appointed to the emir's Council of Advisers 
by Abdullahi Bayero. When Muhammad Sanusi became emir 
in 1954, however, Nasiru was replaced on the council by 
Reformed Tijani mallams. During the reign of Sanusi, Nasiru 
served as a legal consultant to the Northern Muslim Court of 
Appeal and continued as one of the two tafsir readers in the 
palace (q.v.). With the appointment of Ado Bayero as emir in 
1963, Nasiru again became an adviser to the emir. Since 1963 
he has been a member of the Kaduna Council of Mallams and 

has been on numerous local and regional committees, ranging 
from the Kano Native Authority Committee on Prostitution to 
the Northern Nigerian Special Committee on Education in Kano 

Despite his involvement as a government mall am, Nasiru 
Kabara has maintained a base of authority independent of the 
administrative structures in Kano and northern Nigeria. He has 
been largely responsible for making Qadiriyya acceptable to the 
common man, both Fulani and Hausa, and has been an 
important intermediary between the Fulani ruling class and the 
Hausa commoner. He has translated the theology and mysticism 
of Qadiriyya into the Hausa idiom. 

In addition to the functions of initiation, training, and 
intermediation, the Qadiriyya leadership in Kano has 
responsibility for financing and organizing the various activities 
of the brotherhood and for communicating with all segments of 
the brotherhood, local and national. In the transformation of the 
brotherhood from elite to a mass organization, a major 
leadership function has been the inspiration and administration 
of ritual. 

Most of the Reformed Qadiriyya members do wnridi in groups 
led by an imam. The exact nature of the wnridi varies with the 
subgroup within Qadiriyya. The total time expended in each 
group would be about thirty minutes per day. Some Qadiriyya 
(Salamiyya) imams also lead bandiri sessions about twice a 
week in the evenings. During these group prayer sessions the 
leader-follower nexus is strongly reinforced, partly by the 
traditional relationship of an imam to those who "pray behind." 

Reformed Qadiriyya has placed a special emphasis on group 
celebration of the founder's birthday (Mauludin Abdulkadir). 
This ceremony is specifically identified with Reformed 
Qadiriyya and was initiated in Kano by Nasiru Kabara in about 
1959. It serves as a yearly meeting for brotherhood leaders and 
members from throughout northern Nigeria. Delegations from 
each of the major northern cities congregate in Kano for a full 
day of prayers and activities. The central feature of the day is a 
group procession, arranged by area delegations, from the home 
of Nasiru Kabara in the Jarkasa area of Kabara ward to the 
Kano Qadiriyya burial ground west of Kano City, where prayers 
are said over the graves of Kano Qadiriyya saints. The 
procession also serves as the only time in the year when men, 
women, and children all participate in the same worship service. 

The order of procession indicates roughly the hierarchy of 
authority within the Qadiriyya elite; there is an inner core of 
muqaddams who accompany Nasiru Kabara during this period. 

From the patterns of authority and community within Qadiriyya 
in Kano several points may be summarized: 

(1) Association with Qadiriyya in the nineteenth century was 
limited to Fulani mallams and administrators (who derived their 
authority from the leaders of the Fulani Jihad) and to North 
African Arabs (who did not integrate themselves religiously 
into the Kano Milieu). 

(2) With the establishment of colonial rule, elements in the 
Kano Arab community reaffirmed their own spiritual links with 
North African sources of spiritual authority. 

(3) Members of the Hausa mallam class began to associate with 
this renewed form of North African Qadiriyya and were 
recruited into leadership positions within one generation. 

(4) Part of the success of Qadiriyya in the Hausa sector was due 
to an emphasis on group worship and the focusing of activities 
within local mosques. 

(5) The "legitimate" successor to the leadership of traditional 
Fulani Qadiriyya in Kano (Nasira Kabara) affiliated with 
independent lines of Qadiriyya authority as a reinforcement of 
his "inherited" authority and sought to consolidate the Arab, 
Hausa, and Fulani sections of Qadiriyya. 

(6) This was accomplished partly by extending Qadiriyya from 
an elite base to a mass base. In this process, the support of 
wealthy Hausa merchants was essential. On the mass level, 
Reformed Qadiriyya was also a reduction of emerging Kano 
nationalism which demanded that religious authority be shifted 
from Sokoto and North Africa to Kano itself. 

(7) Because of the mass base of Reformed Qadiriyya, it was no 
longer possible for the Qadiriyya elite to identify completely 
with the Kano ruling class. Thus, while brotherhood leaders 
might act as advisers to the ruling class, they have usually 
guarded their status as nongovernment mallams. 

(8) Perhaps as a consequence of the shift from elite to a mass 
base, the brotherhood leadership became involved in two 
relatively new functions: the interpretation of doctrine for local 
use and the inspiration, through ritual and ceremony, of group 
and mass worship. The doctrines of the authority and 

community in refonned Qadiriyya whereas traditional 
Qadiriyya in Kano relied heavily on the nineteenth century 
Jihad writings as the major sources of Qadiriyya doctrine the 
leaders of Refonned Qadiriyya have themselves been prolific 
writers. Like the Fulani Jihad writers, the contemporary 
Qadiriyya writers are concerned to relate classical Islam ic 
thought to local circumstances. In the interim period between 
the Jihad writings and the contemporary writings, there was "a 
dearth of Qadiriyya literature in Kano. None of the major 
leaders during this period, Ibrahim na Kabara, Ali Musa, Saad 
b. Ahmad, Sharif Garba, Sidi Muhammad, and Muhammad 
Sidi-wrote on Qadiriyya. The Refonned Qadiriyya movement, 
associated with Nasira Kabara and Ahmad b. Ali, has not only 
produced its own literature but has revived an interest in the 
Jihad classics," has introduced works on Qadiriyya from the 
Arab world," and has inspired local Hausa "praise poets" " to 
express themselves on brotherhood matters. Nasira Kabara has 
written about 150 works in all. 

Finally, general preaching has always been a function of the 
religious authorities who try to induce conversions through 
individual volition. Such preaching is invariably in the 
vernacular language (in this case Hausa); and if it can be 

fashioned into poetry, it will be sung by minstrels near and far. 
Nasira Kabara has been particularly successful in his general 
preaching. He has published well over 150 treatises and books 
explaining various aspects of Islamic philosophy, Arabic and 
Hausa linguistics. His writing career started quite early in his 
life in his youth. Perhaps not surprisingly, his first treatise was 
on Abdulkadir Jilani, the founder of the Qadiriyya Islamic 
Philosophical movement. His method of writing usually follows 
the medieval scholastic tradition widespread in the middle-east. 
Thus he combines commentary with critical appraisal. A classic 
example of his approach is provided in the intellectual 
conjectures-and-refutations arguments of Al-Ghazali in his 
Tahafut Falasafa , and Ibn Rushd's counter-commentary, 
Tahafut Tahafut 184 . 

IK4 ons.html. 


Figure 3-6Shaykh Muhammad Nasir Kabra (1912-1 996). 

Sammaniyya in Ethiopia and Eretria 

The arrival of the Sammaniyya to Ethiopia and Eretria has been 
done through different time and via different personalities. It 
was introduced into Egyptian Sudan by Shaikh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib" (d. 1 823) and from there it was brought to 
the JABARTI on the Eritrean plateau by Shaikh ADAM al- 
KINANI who is buried in the Serae near ‘Abi’ADDI. It has also 
some followers in the south-western Ethiopia. The important 


role of the Sufi mystics and orders is immense in Ethiopia. 
These have also been important in the spread of Islam , e.g. the 
Qadiriyya (since the sixteenth century), and the Sammaniya and 
Tijaniyya (nineteenth century) .Adam al-Kinani a pupil of al- 
Samman carried the teachings of his master into Eritrea and 
South-West Abyssinia, latter day Ethiopia. 

Another source for the arrival of the tariqa teachings, to 
Ethiopia had done through the efforts of Shaykh al-Selihabi, 
one of the earliest students of the founder of the tariqa in 
Sudan, Shaykh al-Tayyib al-BashTr 186 . 

Another source for whom the credit of the dissemination of the 
Sammaniyya traditions in Ethiopia had been connected with 
Shaykh Amir b. Shaykh Abd al- Wahid, son of Shaykh Ahmad 
al-Tayyib, in his book Islam in Nineteen century — Wallo, 
Ethiopia: Revival Reform and reaction, Hussein Ahmad 
comments: "The Sammaniyya was introduced by Amir Husayn. 

185 J, S. Trimingham. Islam in Ethiopia. Frank Cass & Company 
Gainsborough House, Gainsborough Road London El 1 IRs. 1965, p. 96. 

186 Abd al-Mahmud Nur al-Da'im. (1965). Azahlr al-Ryiadfi manaqib al-arif 
bi'llah al -Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib. 

The grandson of the Sudanese mystic Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib 
b. al-BashTr" (d.1823), who had been initiated by Muhammad 
'Abd al-Karhn al-Samman (1718-75). Amir Husayn passed on 
wird to the well-known scholar of Shonke in Southeast Wallo, 
Shaykli Jawhar b. Haydar. The order was later introduced to 
Jimina 187 . 

In his pioneering Azahir al-Riyad, Shaykh Abd al-Mahamoud 
Nur al-Da'im (d.1915), has praised the efforts led by Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib students, in the spread of the tonqa 
teachings each on his own homeland, so, Shaykli Bushara, was 
among those who contributed greatly in the way of the 
Sammaniyya's dissemination in Ethiopia, Nur al-Da'im has 
written: 'And of them the grand ustaz and the noted alim , the 
murids' educator and the sail kin's guide sayyidi Shaykh Bushra. 
He is from al-Rahman, he was (may Allah be pleased with him) 
Shafi in madhab , has many authoring books in the madhab. He 
took the tariqa from the Shaykh with ishdra from the prophet 
(PBUH), and has realized the attainment in the third day of his 
initiation, and being instructed, after granting the ijdza , to go to 
his homeland, for guiding the murids. In his way to his 

187 Hussein Ahmed. Islam in Nineteen - Century Wallo, Ethiopia: Revival 
Reform and reaction. Brill, 2001, p:78. 


homeland, he visited and spent days with Shaykli Ahmad al- 
BaSir. when he entered his homeland he told that who he pray 
behind him, the fire won't bum him, so a lot of people, from all 
directions had meant him, when they pray behind him they used 
to carry on their clothes the milk and meat, and on their 
finishing their prayers, they back to their homes, and put that 
milk and meat on the fire as a test, the fire left no harm on them. 
Thus, when people had got ascertained of his sincerity and 
miraculous deeds, they submitted to him, from all directions, 
and took from him the tariqa, and they refuge to him zahiran 
inward and batin outward. He (may Allah be pleased with him) 
had authorized twelve thousand in the Sammaniyya , at his 
homeland. 1 had met a lot of them, and of his students, they 
were all on the light from their Lord, he died (may Allah be 
pleased with him) at his home land and buried at Biqiti, his 
grave is visible and visited 

Sammaniyya in South of Sudan 

In fact the presence of the Sammaniyya tariqa in South of 
Sudan has ancient roots in that part of the African continent. It 
could be emphasized that each of the tariqa branches has 
murids and followers distributed in the cities and villages of the 


'Ibid: 217-218. 

country. In his documentary book on Islam in South Sudan past, 
present and future, the writer Abd Allah Wani, in the section 
that devoted to the Sufi orders in South of Sudan comments: “ 
Another tarlqa which exists in Juba, is the Sammaniyya order, 
it has a considerable number of adherents. Qarlb Allah 
Muhammad Sauliman Daud is the head of this order. He 
succeeded his father Muhammad Suliman Daud. Like the other 
two orders, Khatmiyya and Gadiriyya, the Sammaniyya 
activities are carried out in the compound of its head in 
Malakiya and sometimes in the compound of Masjid Malakiya 
Al-kabir. Faraj Juina Zaid, a reporter of Radio Juba, and a 
resident of Malakiya al-kabir and a well-versed person in the 
activities of the Sufi toriqas in Juba said the later, the late leader 
of the Sammaniyya order Muhammad Suliman Daud in the 
past had contact with Shaykli Qarlb Allah Abu-Saleh, the great 
promoter of tarlqa Garibiyya Tayyibiyya Sammaniyya in 
Omdurman'Like tarlqa Gadiriyya, the Sammaniyya order was 
taken to Upper Nile by returning Southern Muslims from 
Omdurman after the fall of the Mahdya and the subsequent 
emergence of the Anglo-Egyptian condominium government in 
Sudan. These southerners were told by the British to return to 
their original homes in the South because the Mahadya system 

which was keeping them was over. Shaykh AW Hajab 
Fadalmulla the present leader of the tanqa al-Tayyibiyya al- 
Sammdniyyah in Upper Nile who currently resides in Umbadda 
in Western Omdunnan said the southern pioneer who took the 
order to Upper Nile was Shaykh al-Muaz Suliman. Shaykh al- 
Suliman's first centre of settlement was Kodok, where he 
launched the tariqa ; this was either at the end of the 19 th 
century or at the beginning of the 20 th century 189 . 'Although one 
of the well-established orders of the Sufi movement in the 
Sudan. In Wau town this tariqa has few followers. This may be 
because few Northerners members of the order went to trade or 
work in Wau. Actually some Northern traders introduced this 
tanqa in Wau town. But because it did not have a strong 
leadership, its activities did not attract many members 190 . 

189 Abd Allah, Wani. (2006). Islam in Southern Sudan, Its Impact: Past, Present 
&Future. UKP. Khartoum.2006 p.54. 

190 Ibid: 37. 


Figure 3-7Sammani dervish from South Sudan, the picture has 
been taken in December 2014 at al-Keryida Shaykh Omer. 


Sammaniyya in America 

In fact the history of the Sammaniyya in America has been 
connected with the late professor Shaykli Hasan al -Fatih Qarlb 
Allah (1933-2005). So, the tariqa mainly the Sammaniyya 
Tayibiyya Qaribiyya branch has several murids, in different 
parts of the American continent, scatter in many of the different 
American States and cities, and having permanent contact with 
each other. The tariqa activity concentrates in Washington 
grand area, which includes three of the biggest American States, 
Virginia, Maryland State and DC district which joins the capital 
Washington, where the largest Muslims community of Arabs 
and non-Arabs are found. The Sammaniyya zdwiya in the grand 
Washington area has been established during the lifetime of my 
master professor Shaykh Hasan al -Fatih in the year 1425, A.H, 
corresponding to 1994. There is a weekly activity, which 
considered the sole Sufi activity in the area. Every night of 
Sunday, the Sammaniyya murids in addition to some other 
murids of turuq of Arabs and non-Arabs meet after the sunset 
prayer, to perform the awrad and dhikr of the tariqa in the 
zdwiya. However, other activities of the tariqa, is found in the 
commemoration of the varied seasonal religious festivals. 


notably the new hijri year, the prophet birthday, Isra and Miraj, 
and celebrating the half of the Shaban night 191 . 

Sammaniyya in Britain 

The presence of the Sammaniyya in Birtain has been done 
through the efforts of Shaykli al-Fatih Qarib Allah (1915- 
1986), also through Shaykh al-Jaylli Abd al-Mahmoud al- 
Hafyan ( b-1948). In addition there are followers and murids of 
the late famous Shaykh al-Burai (1923- 2005). Numerous 
students counted as Sammani followers in this European 

In regard to the grand awakening of dawah in Britain, it has 
started in the 1970s. In this concern to Shaykh al-Fatih (1915 - 
1986) great role, this happened during his visit to Britain at that 
time. The first mosque has been built in London, was in 1977 
this had coincided with my arrival to Britain. It worth noting 
that at this year (1977) the now famous dawah preachers have 
embrace Islam of those Yousif Islam, Hamza Yousif, Abdr- 

ticle&id=3 19:2010-08-17-1 7-4445&catid=67 :20 1 0-06-08- 1 7-04- 

Rinnan Johansson, Abd al-Hakim Murad, Muhammad Isa Wily 
Muhammad knight (God mercy his soul) Dawud Rasha Owen, 
Abd Allah Triqashan, Abd al-Azim Pitter and others. The first 
hcilaqa circle of the Sammaniyya tariqa was in 1 980, this when 
I met Shaykh Babikr Abd Allah Ibrahim (God has mercy on his 
soul). The Sammaniyya circle has flourished and become the 
most prominent one in London. In 1984 the third circle has 
started it was dalail al-khirat circle. The philosophy behind its 
establishment is to gather the people of tariq as well the 
prophet's lovers. It has been transferred to Hi Street in 1986 on 
Friday night. This circle used to attract a lot of Shuyukh and 
prophet's lovers. In 1987 it had been honoured with the presence 
of the famous boxer Muhammad Ali Klay. My debate with him 
during this visit has been the key for him to embrace the tariq. 
At this year (1987) my master Shaykh Hasan al -Fatih Qarib 
Allah (1933 - 2005) accompanied with some of his murids 
magadam Babikr Sediq and magadam Sid Ahmad Swar al- 
Dahab had visited Britain and this on the wake of his 
assumption to the office of the tariqa's khalifate. Shaykh had 
come to point out to the importance of the traiq's task in our 
current era mainly on the non - Islamic countries. He 
emphasized the significance of the dawah of Allah to non - 
Muslims, and the unity among the people of the tariq. 


Shaykh Hasan had the privilege on receiving the delegations 
that visited the Sudan from Britain and here on the memory the 
visit of that big delegation which included forty - five man and 
woman. At the very visit he had fulfilled the initiation to the 
whole group. In 1990 I established the first circle of the 
recitation of the Quran to the new converts. With the suggestion 
of Shaykh Muhammad Shaykh Hasan al -Fatih the current 
Shaykh of the tariqa, the wholes circles have been joined into 
one this was in 1994 at Karakul wood Islamic north of London, 
which in the past was a grand church and then turned one of the 
most grand mosques in London today. 

About the activities we used to participate and share in the 
conferences inside and outside Britain, we also participate in 
mawlid the 15 th of Shaban , and isra and miraj festivals 192 . 

192 Babikr Ahmad Babikr. Al-Nashat al-Dctwai ll'tariqah Asammaniyyah fi 
London , published article on al-Sayiha monthly Bulletin published by 
Sammaniyya Qaribiyya Hasaniyya tariqa , March 2007, pp: 8,9, 10. 


Figure 3-8 this picture has been taken from a last gathering 
organized by Sammaniyya in London on 28 of April 2015, the 
second from the right is Shaykh Babiker Ahmad Babikr senior 
Sammani Shaykh in Britain. 

List of al-Sammani 's students 


1 -Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr. 

2- Ahmad Muhammad al-Baqqari. 

3-Shaikh Hamad (Taqali). 


4-Shaikh Zayn al-Abidin (Sinnar). 

5-Jawdat al-Sulaymi. The last three students, Abd al- 
Mahmoud Nural-Da'im saw their ijazas written by al-Samman 's 


1 - Hamad al-'Abidi. 

2- Hassan al-Qaum. 

3- Shaikli Ibrahim al-Goulyobawi and his son Shaikh 


4- Muhammad al-Kurdi. 


1- Muhammad al-Giffri b.Hussien al-Alawi. 

2- 'Abd al-Karim b. Muhammad b.'Abd al -Karim al- 
Sammani . 

3- Muhammad al-Zayn b. Hussein. 

4-Siddiq b. Umar Khan al-Umari al-Faruqi (Jeddah). 

5- Abd Allah b. Muhammad al-Madani. 


1 -Shaikh al-Salih al-Sunni. 


1- Shaikh Abd Abdr -Rahaman Abu-Zaid al-Taduli 
(who introduced Ahmad b.Issa al-Ansari into the Sammaniyya 
through a khalwati ijaza. (see Abd al-Malunoud Nur al-Da'im 
kuus — ,op, cit.,p.27). 

2- Shaikh al-Ghorashi. 

3- Al-'Arabi al-Dirqawi. 

4- Abu.Abd Allah b. Muhammad b.Talib Tbn-Suda 
(d.l 193 A.H. in Fez), he is student of Ahmad b. al-Mubarak al- 
Silqalmashial-Lumet who wrote al-Dhahab al-lbriez). 


l-'Uthman al-Aqibi. 

2-'Uthman b.Abd al-Rahman al-Jawi. 


1-Shaikh Abd al-Rahman al-Jawi. 



J Mil 

Diagram 4 the students of Shaykli Muhammad al-Samman 


Chapter Four 

Sammaniyya in the Sudan 

Its arrival 

One of the most prominent and striking features of Islam in 
Sudan is the Sufi tradition, especially as embodied in Sufi 
orders, among these the Sammaniyya. The tariqa represents one 
of the most important Sufi turuq in modern Sudan. The 
importance of the Sammaniyya lies in the fact it is one of the 
Sufi turuq that shaped the nature of Islam in Sudan. Moreover, 
it reflects the process of Sudanization of an orthodox Sufi- 
Ulama "tariqa that was founded in Hijaz . The Sammaniyya 
has brought to Sudan by the renowned Shaykli Ahmad al- 
Tayyib (1742 -1824), in the second half of the 18 lh 
century. The tariqa is not just the most popular and influential 
in Sudan but also in most of African continent, mainly Nigeria. 
By the passing of the time, the Sammaniyya has gained several 
centres in different parts of the Sudan. These centres had and 
still have varied spiritual, social and reforming tasks. They have 
the responsibility of the educational and ethical aims, for those 

193 Amani Mohammad El-Obeid .The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan: 
Doctrine and Politics, unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of 
Khartoum, 1997, p:i. 


who under the dominance of its banner. However, the great 
students have taken the Sufi pledge from Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib, and then each went to the place that he chose, and 
taking from the masid an institution, to Allah's call, and 
distribution of knowledge, via opening khawlas for the 
memorization of the Qur'an. Thus, thousands of centres 
represented al-Samman involved in propagation his teachings 
and doctrine, have appeared, as enlightening centres, helping in 
the spread of the word of Allah, and strengthen the bonds of 
faith, among the believers. Al-Samman influenced Sufism 
greatly in the Sudan. He advocated for the Khalwati tradition, 
which called for all members of this Sufi order-no matter where 
they lived geographically-to be united under in this tradition 
under the founder's family name, and by the use of the same 
prayers and rituals. This "network" of Sufists became known as 
the Sammaniyya. The Sammaniyya's Shuyukh have set the 
Qur'an's fire, built the mosques, zawiyas, khalawas , and Islamic 
institutes, and their students have followed the same trace, 
across the country and outside 194 .He and his pupils were of 
immense importance to the spread of Sammaniyya influence in 

194 Emily, Dyar. The Character of Islam in Africa. Final December 9, 2010- 
HIST 261 -Dr.Carmichael -Wiki. 


Africa, Europe and the Islamic world. In time al-Tayyib 
founded his own branch of the Sammmaniyya known as the" 
Tayyibiyya (154:p.86).In the late eighteenth and early 

nineteenth centuries, other well-established transregional orders 
entered Sudan from abroad, notably the Tijaniyya and 
Sammaniyya 195 . 

Sammaniyya, the concept 

Sammaniyya is a terminological name for a number of tiiruq of 
which the main five orders are: 

1 . The Qadiriyya named after the qntb Shaykli Abd al-Qadir al- 

Jilani (1077- 1164.) 

2. The Khalwatiyya of Shaykli Mustafa al- Bakri b.Kamal Din, 

3. The Naqshbandiyya of Shaykli Muhammad Balia Din 
Naqshband, (1317-1388 ) 

4. Anfas tarlqat, in which each and every breath should be 
accompanied by dhikr. 

5. Al-Muwafaqah tanqat , in this tariqa , the condition and 
behaviour of the murid goes in accordance with one of the 

195 Kathryn. M. Coughline in her reference guide book, Muslims Cultures 
Today GREENWOOD PRESS, Westport, Connecticut • London, 2006, 

beautiful Names of Allah 196 . The Sammaniyyah tarlqah seemed 
to be embracing many tarlqahs. These tarlqahs are the 
Qdiriyyah, Naqshabandiyyah, and Khalwatiyya. This isclear 
from what was written by Abd al -Mahmud Ntir ad-Da'im, the 
grandson of Shaikli at-Tayyib, in his book Azihir ar-Riyad in 
which he wrote about the Tayyibiyyah as-Samminiyyah 
taifah . All these tarlqas were taught by Shaikli Abd al -Karim 
as-Samman to Shaikli at-Tayyib. The Qadiriyyah was regarded 
as the essence of the Sammaniyyah . 


197 The term “taifah”, frequently used by Tirmingham, to denote the tariqa, 
Sufi orders in Islam, as I see it the existence of the Ansar and Khatmiyah, 
two Sudanese active religious- political sects, made him to name the other 
Sufi fariqas as taifah. 

198 Khadiga, A, Karrar, Aspects of Sufism in the Sudan, A thesis submitted 
for the degree of master of Arts of the University of Durham April 1975 
School of Oriental Studies University of Durham, 1975, p.73 

256 1 

1 The 1 

L Qadiriyya J 



1 Nc 



ya J 


1 Traiqat 1 

l aL-Muafaqa J 












f Tariqat 

l aL-Anfass 



Diagram 5 the main tunic] which constitute the 

The doctrine of the parTqa 

The doctrine of the Sammaniyya does not perceive Sufi 
doctrines as separate from the basic teachings of Islam . Rather, 
they are meditations that explore the deeper meanings and 

ramifications of these teachings through known upgrading like 
beginning with the istigfar then prayer upon the prophet and 
then saying the blessed word: la ilah i la Allah. The dhikr is one 
of the most important means of taribiya in the tarTqa's doctrine, 
this done and achieved through strictly abiding with the prophet 
doctrine and the holy Qur'an, in all of the commitment aspects. 
Then the doctrine being based on the divine emanation, and the 
tangible fruit of the abiding and commitment of the tariqa and 
the regulatory of performing dhikr , attaining to the meanings 
and realities that lead to the oneness of Allah through certainty 
and Witnessing, or what is known in their {Sufis) literature with 
ilmal-Wi Sul and here it is of high necessity of following ilm of 
al-ISuul for tasting the science of wiSul, and with thus the grand 
sciences and great tajaliyat, being felt by the tarTqa's salik. So, 
the beginning of the tariqa is science, and its middle is the 
deed, and its ending is hal (spiritual state), as the result is the 
omnipresence of the prophet, through Witnessing and this is 
what expressed and detailed in their books and authoring 1 . 

As expressed in the tarTqa's literature and writings, it could be 
stated that the doctrine of the Sammaniyya bases on the 
following tenets: 

199 Interview with Briayer Sa'ad Adin, Hasaheisa, 31, 8, 2014. 


1 -Belief in Allah 

2- Belief in the angels 

3- Belief in the revealed books. 

4- Belief in messengers and prophets. 

5- Belief in the last day. 

6- Belief in qadar (Divine Will), both its good and evil 

7- Strict adherence to prophet Muhammad (PBUH), with self- 
determination to Behave and this in accordance with the 
teachings of the Qur'an. 

8- Sincere abiding with the Shaykh s' educational method based 
on the Qur'an and the prophetic sunnah , avoiding all the vices 

9- Respectfullness to elders, showing mercy to youngsters, and 
obedience to the spiritual qualified Shaykh on what pleases 

10- Strong self- determination to perform voluntary prayers. 

11- Pledge to fulfill the covenant of Allah, follow his Sharia 
and abstain from His prohibitions plight. 

12- Working sincerely for imposing the law of Allah 200 . 

200 Hasan, al-Fatih, Qarlb Allah. Al-Dur al-DTni wa al.Gitimai wa al-Fikeri ( 
irpcirlqa Al-Sammaniyyah). Muhanad. M. A. Khartoum, 2004, p: 46. 


The pariqa doctrine has joint the sharia and the haqiqa , and the 
Sammaniyya shuyukh, first and foremost have gone to 
recommend their students with the necessity of receiving the 
fundamentals of science, before embarking in the application of 
the bases of the tariq , in this concern they took the poet's 

TaSawwuf is not that you wear patched wool garments, 

Nor is it that you weep when the singer sings hymns 

It is neither your shouting, nor your dancing, nor your feelings 
of ecstasy 

Nor is it your fainting as if you have gone mad. 

Rather, TaSawwuf is that your sold is purified without blemish 
And that you adhere to Divine Truth ; 

The Book of Allah, and True Faith. 

And that you humble yourself before Allah broken-hearted, over 
your sins, inwardly sorrowful at every time. " 

And they also took the saying of the poet: 

People argued and disagreed about the Sufi 

And some thought it to be derived from wool 
I do not grant this name a description of a Sufi 
Even if a Sufi is named Sufi. 

Like the other Sufi orders, the tarlqa's doctrine is set on 
denouncing the vices, and tahali with the virtues 201 

The philosophy of the parTqa 

Out of the books authored by the Shuyukh of the turiqa, as well 
of its scientific heritage, it appeared that, for the Sammaniyya as 

for the other Sufi orders, doctrines, bases, pillars, litanies, ranks 


and adhkdr , as well the social and religious activities" ~.As- 
Samrnaniyyah is founded on dhikr 'invocation, riyidah' practice, 
hunger, Khalwah seclusion and tawadu 'humility. The essential 
part in this tariqah is that the initiate should always remember 
the greatness of Allah. This is considered important since the 
remembrance of Allah's greatness is a factor in bringing the self 
under the control of the spirit. The follower should also empty 

Interview with al-Fatih al-Hiber, al-Debiba 9- 2014 
202 . Hasan al-Fatih. Al-Dur al-Fikiri IVscimmamyyah. 

his heart completely of all secular things and should consider 
the world as if it didn't - exist at all. The stress in this tariqah is 
on the heart. This is partly because the Sufis consider the heart 
as superior to the brain. The Sammaniyyah ta'ifah in this case 
considers the heart as the abode in which resides the true 
knowledge of Allah. 203 

The initiation pledge 

The ceremony and rites of the initiation can be different in each 
Sufi order. It should be realized that the oath of loyalty implies 
to be loyal to Allah. In his masterpiece azahir al-Ryiad , Shaykh 
Abd al-Mahamud w.Nur al-Da'im(1845-1915) has stated two 
ways for taking bia'a, in the Sammaniyya Sufi order. So, he 
writes 'After reciting surah " al-Fatiah and some relevant 
verses of the Koran, by the Shaykh , followed by the person, 
under initiation he/she must declare : 

1 . Allah is my Lord. 

2. Islam is my religion. 

3. Muhammad (PBUH) is the Prophet and Messenger of Allah. 

203 Khadiga, A, Karrar, Aspects of Sufism in the Sudan, A thesis 

submitted for the degree of master of Arts of the University of Durham, 
School of Oriental Studies University of Durham, 1975, p.74. 


4. The Koran is my guide. 

5. Ka'bah, the House of Allah, is the direction I turn my face 
towards in prayer. 

6. The Sam maniyy a Tayib iyyah fariqa , is my method of 
performing my spiritual and worshiping life. 

7. Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib is my spiritually qualified 
Shaykh 204 . 

The second method of taking the bia'a comes as follows: The 
murid renews his ablution, and if possible, make a grand ghusl , 
perform two rakat. Then he ought to sit, on the state of the one, 
in the prayer sitting posture, while Shaykh holds his hand, and 
reads: In the name of Allah ( one time), istagfer Allah, I ask 
Allah Forgiveness (7 times), I believe in Allah, His angles, 
books, messengers, and the final day, the Qadar its good and 
evils, resurrection after death,( one time), after that says: I 
submit to the Will of Allah, and I renew my Islam , I purified 
from all sins, sincere repentance, I disowned of kufur. There is 
no God, but Allah, with no partner, and I bear witness that 
Muhammad, His servant and messenger. I took the fanqa , 

204 Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im,Azd/wr al-ryiad fi manaqib al-Arif 
bi'llah Al-Shaykh Ahmed 'Al-Tayyib .1954, p.75. 


khalafa , and ijaza, I wore the taj , the crown and turban, and I 
took the pledge to Allah, at the hand of my ustadh, so, on 
istiqama , the sound sharia \ for Allah piety and submitting to all 
of the matters to Allah, and acceptance of His rulings, and 
thankfulness of His bounties, as he- (my Shaykh), has took the 
pledge at the hand of Shaykh , so and so. Thus, the Shaykh is 
keeping on stating the men of the Qadiriyya silsila. Then he (the 
Shaykh) comes to read: ( Verily , those who give Bai'ah (pledge) 
to you (O Muhammad) they are giving Bai'aih (pledge) to 
Allah), then reading al-Fatiha- And comes to pray for his 
murid , with istiqama , in the tariqa and sharia [ with the 
instruction of committing to the ratib of the Qadiriyya tariqa, 
which is found in reading: al-Fatiha on the soul of the prophet, 
as well on the soul of the tariqa ’s founder, my master Shaykh 
Abd al-Qadir al-Jyilani, and to the souls of those men of the 
Qadiriyya silsilla 205 . 

The ultimate goal of the tariqa 

The ultimate goal of the tariqa is to lead murids from the stage 
of one's love of Allah, {and by following His beloved prophet 
(PBUH)}, to the stage of being loved by Allah, of course by the 

205 Ibid: 75 


grace of Allah, which is the greatest happiness:" Say: if you love 
Allah , follow > me and Allah will love you, and forgive your sins, 
for Allah is Oft- Forgiving, the most Merciful" . 

The base ( al-asds ) of the parTqa 

The asas of the Sammaniyya is based purely on Quran and 
hadith. To describe the Tanqa, we will say that it is simply to 
rule oneself according to the teaching of the Qur'an and the 
teaching of the Prophet (PBUH).In azahir al-ryiad{ 1954), three 
categories have been stated concerning the asas of the parTqa , 
they are: minor, intermediate and major. Performed according 
to the aspiration of the murid. The adhkdr which should be read 
and after each of the obligatory five daily prayers are: 

1. .Astaghfir Allah al-ghafur Ar-Raheem- I pray for the 
forgiveness of Allah, the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful 
(to be read 20 times). 

2. Allahuma salli ala sayyidina Muhammed wa'ala alihi wa 
sallim, O Allah, praise our Master Muhammad and his 
family, and grant them peace (to be read 20 times). 



3. La illaha ilia Allah , There is no God except Allah (to be 
read 13 times). 

4. Ya Allah, O Allah (to be read 1 1 times). 

5. Ya Hu, O He (to be read 19 times). 

Then with closed eyes, the murid should raise one's head 
upwards to the right and say "Ha" . When saying "Ha" it must 
be clear in one's heart that Allah, is beyond and above all 
directions. Still with eyes closed, the murid should raise one's 
head upwards to the left and say "Hu", being mindful that no 
one is capable of making anything move, or be still except 
Allah. This is followed by saying "Hi" with one's head facing 
downwards whilst clearly remembering that each one of us will 
return to the earth. Our Shaykhs explain that although "Ha", 
"Hu" and "Hi" have differing meanings, they all refer to Allah. 
"Ha" refers to the "Ha" in "La llaha". "Hu" refers to the "Hu" in 
" ILLA Allahu", and "Hi" refers to the "Hi" in "Muhammad 
Rasool Allahi" , meaning Muhammad is the Messenger of 
Allah. The murid must be very aware that Allah is present 
watching him/her. 

This is followed by the prayer: "O Allah, exalt our Master 
Muhammad with the kind of prayer that will save us from 

misfortune, by which You fulfil for us all our need, purify us 
from all sins, raise us to Your highest ranks through which You 
make us achieve the maximum of blessings in this life and after 
death 207 . 




1 -I pray for 

of Allah, the 








2-0 Allah, 
praises our 
and his 
family, and 
grants them 




3 -There is no 
God except 




207 Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im, AzdhJr al-Ryiad fi manaqib al 
arif bi'lloh al-Shaykh Ahmed 'Al-Tayyib .1954, p.68. 






4-0 Allah 




5-0 He 




Diagram- 5 the assas or base of the Sammaniyya 
source: azahir al-ryiad{ 1954:68). 

The four cornerstones of the parTqa 

The four cornerstones of the tariqa represents the tenets and 
the principles of the taSawwuf. However, these four pillars of 
the path collectively could be found in the saying: 

The house of fwil aval 's comers are divided 

(where our masters are from the substitutes [ abdall) 
into silence and continuous solitude 

and hunger and valuable cherished sleeplessness. 

However, the four cornerstones come as follows: 

1 . Reduction of the consumption of food. In doing so the heart 
will be prepared to receive Divine illuminations and visions. 
However, here tariqa's philosophy traced the prophetic tradition 

which says;' Sufficient for the son of Adam are such morsels as 
will keep up his strength". 

2. Silence of the Tongue. From prohibited things and 
unnecessary chatter. 

3. Sleeplessness. In so doing the wakefulness of the eyes in 
worshiping will lead Insha Allah to the wakefulness of one's 
heart through which one may receive blessed light. 

4. Seclusion. In which the murid remembers the Truth "our 

Creator" only, in readiness to receive Divine visions and 

. • • 208 
esoteric experiences . 

The awrad and adhkar of the parlqa 

The awrad and adhkar , in the Sammani tariq have been used 
during the ages as one of the means for spiritual purification and 
attainment. It could be said that the Sammaniyya almost shares 
all Sufi orders in what termed ‘obligatory awrad ’which always 
perfonn after the obligatory prayers. However, the tariqa 
peculiar itself with other variety of awrad, come to be counted 
as merit of a distinction, for the tariqa, which in turn played 
huge role in the widespread of its teachings and tradition among 
the Sudanese. 

208 Ibid 

The difference of dhikr used in each Sammani centre and the 
glorification of the litanies of the founder of the centre reflects 
the level of individualism in the Sammaniyya . Glorification of 
litanies made by the Sudanese Sammanis reflects the process of 
the localization and the Sudanization of the Sammaniyya 
doctrine 209 . 

Needless to stress and as the case in the other turuq, there is 
awrad performed in congregation, while some other done 
individually. Ratib al-Sa'ada which attributed to the order 
founder Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-Bashir (1742-1824), is 
the most noted wird read by the all tariqa’ s branches, after 
morning and maghib prayers. In addition there is wird Assahar, 
attributed to my master Shaykh Mustafa al-Bakrl (1687-1748) 
as the name suggests read in the late portion of the night, in fact 
the tariqa’ s branch of my master Shaykh Qarlb Allah (1866- 
1936) of w.Nubawi went famous with reading this wird. Add to 
the above is wirdal-Ishrdq, and wird Ad-duha. 

The daily practice of the Sammaniyya revolves exclusively 
around dhikru Allah , God’s remembrance. The litany specific to 
the Sammaniyya, like many other of the Sufi orders, is 

209 Amani Mohammed El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya doctrine, 1997, p. 120. 


comprised of asking the forgiveness of God (, istighfar ), sending 
prayers on the Prophet Muhammad ( Salat ‘al-Nabiyy) and 
affirming the Oneness of God (la ilaha ill -Allah). Despite that 
the followers of the Sammani tariq have the ultimate allegiance, 
to the founder qutb al-Samman, and after him, Shaykh Ahmad 
al-Tayyib. The tariqa has many branches, with many who were 
authorized, and since there is no centralism that dictate upon the 
followers of the Sammani tariq , following certain method in 
education and conduct. Each Shaykh at his own branch has 
strove, making his own aw rad, added to what they had inherited 
or had passed, from the tariqa ’s earliest founders. Accordingly 
the aw rad of each branch of the tariqa has become quite a little 
bit different; in addition the adhkar also have tended to be 


different- . In Sammani tariq, dhikr vary this due to the multi 
spread branches, of the tariqa itself. For those who prefer the 
Qadiri, which is the dominant one, prefer what is known dhikr 
al- sayha (literally "shout") a cry for God's succour the way this 
dhikr was perfonned is interesting; the munshids, standing at a 
distance from each other, chanted with a special intonation the 
verses of a particular religious ode ( qasida ). According to one 
source, the dhikr al- Sayha originated a among the Ya'qubab 

2l0 Mausuat ahal al-Dhikr bi ll’ Sudan, 2008, Khartoum, voll-217. 


branch of the Qadriyya, which later changed its spiritual 
allegiance to the Sammaniyya under the influence of Ahmad al- 
Tayyib 21 '. It worth stating that the qasids , which used in sayha, 
composed or written through the colloquial language, so as to 
be understood, while has affect upon the hearts of al-dhukar 
This is presumably why this type of dhikr was also adopted by 
the Sammaniyya, where those who performed it were 
commonly known as shu'ar. While those who prefer dhikr on 
the way of Khalwati, has what is known as dhikr al-Tabaqcr . 

In the Sammaniyya, dhikr involves certain rules which were 
established by Shaikh El-Tayyib". These rules are: - 

1- Sincerity ' ikhlas , truthfulness 'sidq', and the companionship of 
a Shaikh 'arif hi- Allah ' i.e. a gnostic. 

2 - Cleanliness, the performance of the ablution, facing the 
qihlah ' direction for prayers and silence. 

3 -The murid should always imagine the presence of the 
Prophet peace be upon him', and that of his Shaikh while 
performing the Dhikr. 

211 Ali, Salih, Karrar. Sufi Brotherhood in Sudan. Hurst. London. 1992:46. 

2U Mausuat ahal al.dhikr bi ll’ Sudan, 2008, Khartoum Voll- 218. 


4 -The mur'id shouldn't proceed from one part of Dhikr to the 
other until the Shaikh has told him to do so, or until he receives 
divine permission in the form of hatif or ilham 'personal 
inspiration or by pennission from the Prophet 'peace be upon 
him. Each of the parts of this Dhikr has certain revelations and 
emanations fuyudat which might be achieved by the murid who 
follows these rules exactly. The final goal of this type of Dhikr 
is ‘ al-fana ’passing away from all worldly existence, and al- 


baqaa lasting subsistence in the divine presence" . 

The Qadiri sanad of the Sammaniyya 

The Sammaniyya in its origin is Qadiriyya and Khalwatiyya 
tariqa. But the Sammani Qadiri sanad , does not pass through, 
my master Shaykli Taj al-DIn al-Bahari, whose the majority of 
the Qadiri sanad pass through" '. 'About the sanad of the 
Shaykli (may Allah be pleased with him), in this tariqa , he 
took and wore its khirqa the mantle, from the sea of the irfan, 
and the quth of the time, my master Shaykli Muhammad b. Abd 
al-Karhn al-Madani al-QurashT, known with ai-Samman, (may 
Allah be pleased with him), at al-Madina al-Munwara , in the 

213 Khadiga, Karrar Al-Tayyib. Aspects of Sufism in the Sudan. A thesis 
submitted for the degree of Master of Arts of the University of Durham, 
School of Oriental Studies University of Durham, 1975, p.76. 
214 Abdal-Mahmoud al-Jyaili (al-Hafyan). Nadhart ft al-TaSawwuf el-Islami, 
vol 1, Matcibi al-Sudan Wumla , Khartoum, 1998, p: 429. 


year 1172 A.H. Who took the tanqa, and wore the mantle, from 
the man of miracles, my master Shaykh Muhammad Tahir al- 


Madani (d,1780)“ appendix (A).It is clear that the Qadiriyyah 
in the Sudan took two directions. The first is that of the 
Qadiriyyah proper which was known sometimes as al- 
Jilaniyyah and which was founded by Taj ad-Din al-Bahari. The 
second is the Qadiriyyah as-Sammaniyyah, which formed an 
independent ta’ifah, the Tayibiyyah through which it mainly 
preached the Qadiriyyah. It has the largest number of followers 
up to the present time 216 . 

The Khalwati sanad of the Sammaniyya 

About the sanad of the Shaykh (may Allah be pleased with 
him), in this fariqa, he took it from the qutb of the circle of the 
worlds, the one who educates by nazr of the master of the son 
of Adnan, my master Shaykh Muhammad b. Abd al-KarTm al- 
Madani al-QurashT, known with al-Samman, who took it from 
the one whose sea still outpouring on the hearts run, the Shaykh 

215 Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im. Al-ku’us al-Mutra’a. 1997, p:94 
216 A1-Tayyib, Khadiga Karrar. Aspects of Sufism in the Sudan , A thesis 
submitted for the degree of master of Arts of the University of Durham, 
School of Oriental Studies University of Durham, 1975, p.78. 

216 Abdal. Mahmoud al.Jyaili (al-Hafyan). Nadhart fi al-Tasawwuf el.lslami, 
vol 1, Matabi al. Sudan ll'umla, Khartoum, 1998, p: 429. 

of Misra, and al-Hijaz, and Sham, sayidi Mustafa b.Kamal al- 
DTn al-Bakrl ( 1687-1748), who took it from Shaykh Abd al-Atif 


b. Husam al-DTn al-Halabr appendix (B). 

The belt 

The symbol of the tanqa is the belt or wrapping the waist, it is a 
sign of continuous declaration to the Shaykh and others, that 
the member is determined to follow the principles and guidance 
of the tanqa . Using the belt according to the tanqa 'sShaykh s 
has a prophetic trace, for it was narrated that the prophet 
(PBUH) one and in a place between Mecca and Madina ordered 
his companions to wrap their waist, while there in that place. 
Abu-Said the prophet's companions narrated the hadith said 'we 
wrapped our waist and we went on slow running ( harwala ). In 
the Sammani tarlq the revival of this prophetic sunnah , has 
been associated with the grand Shaykh Muhammad Tom w. 
Bannaqa' (d. 1851), who was nicknamed adibal-udaba. All the 
branches of the tanqa commit to the using of the belt, just differ 
in its kind and colour. 


Ibid: 113 

The contributing factors to the tanqa’s spreading 

Several factors have been counted in favour of the widespread 
of the Sammaniyya inside and outside the country. Parts of 
these factors have been related to tarlqa’s great personalities, 
mainly the earliest founders, some others have been found in the 
spirit of the new teachings of the tariqa itself. According to 
Neil McHugh (1993) the 'Divisions and competition among the 
Sufis enabled Ahmad w. al-Bshir to attract initiates from all 
places, families and tariqas , but in so doing, he also became 
heir to this very fragmentation. He may have been "Shaykh of 
all Shaykhs" in a spiritual sense" .'The travel of the tanqa's 
Shaykhs for knowledge's seeking and taking of pledge, and then 
returning equipped with what they had already learnt, and their 
engaging in propagating the teachings of their Shuyukh , through 
opening schools, khalwas, and the of performance the tanqa's 
rites and traditions. All these factors have greatly assisted in the 
widespread of the Sammaniyya. Organizing the time of the 
Shuyukh , between receiving knowledge, worship, and guidance, 
and then their observing to the congregational dhikr , also have 
helped a lot in the spreading of the tanqa's traditions. Adding to 

218 Neil McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile'. The Making of an Arab- 
Islamic Community in the Nilotic, 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern 
University Press, 1993:140. 

^ 276 

the relying on the Qadiri doctrine known with its simplicity as 
well familiarity to the Sudanese, as well it (the Qadiri doctrine) 
previously has spread it's sweetly fragrance" . 

According to Abbas al-Hajj the lecturer at the African- Asian 
institute in Khartoum, there are varied reasons collectively 
come to play a vital considerable role in the spread of the 
Sammaniyya traditions, he comments: 'Firstly tariqa' s 
distinction has played a magnificent role in its spreading. Its 
aw rad and remembrances are light this also helps. And its 
flexibility, Shuyukh of the tariqa are not fanatics, so to speak, 
my point here should be understood, in the context of the 
survey, that I have conducted, in the masid of Omaidan, for the 
natural as well the easier engagement of the Fulani tribe men, 
and their affiliation to the tariqa , as followers, really has 
stricken me, so the flexible doctrine that the Shaykh and his 
murids undertake, with the Fulani at the masid in turn has 
assisted in the spread of the tariqa , at least at the western bank 
of Dender river. From another hand, it could be said that the 
poetic as well the prose production, chiefly the oral poetry such 
as madih, have contributed greatly in the spread of the 

2l9 Interview with al-Hajw. al-Azraq , Amart al -Shaykh Haju, 1, 10,2013. 


Sammaniyya, taking for example, the poems of Shaykli Abdal- 
Mahmoud, Shaykh Qarlb Allah, Shaykli al-Burai, Shaykh al- 
Sabonabi, Shaykh Hashim and the poets of the masTd of 
Omaidan, in which T have carried out a PhD. The masTd here 
has many poets contributed vitally in the spread of the teachings 
of the tanqa take for example Seif al-DIn, w. al-Badaw w. al- 
Gimbila, on the level of quality and quantity, at least those 
mentioned poets, with some others have helped to great extent 
in the spread of the tanqa' s branch. There is variation on the 
poetic production here, such as dubiyyat the quatrain, this type 
is widespread, and it is more close to the hearts of the Arab 
Bedouins, who scatter largely in the area, in addition to the 
prophetic and qawm songs'" .from outset let me emphasize that, 
the divine Will, is the prime cause behind the spread of the 
tanqa, Allah (SWT) in his hidden wisdom Has willed for the 
Sammaniyya to appear, and then to spread. Also the variety of 
the mashrab within the tanqa' s literature, I mean in the 
Sammaniyya there is variety of literary production, each one 

220 Interview with Abbas al-Haj, Khartoum, 23, 9, 2013. al-Haj has 
conducted PhD on the interrelation and interaction between the Fulani 
villages, as well the inhabitants of the villages, on the western bank of 
Dinder River ( MasTd Omidan Shaykh al-Sammani, as case study). 


comes to satisfy and response, to the different varied moods of 
the people then the murids. For example there are varied types 
of poetry, such as Sufi prose writings etc. Thus, the 
Sammaniyya is known as a tariqa that established on ilm , with 
the abundant of poetry production. And here let me show that 
poetry in particular, since its nature in addressing the educated 
and the uneducated, comes to play un-neglected role in the 
spread of the tariqa's teachings. So if Hasaan and the other 
prophet's companions poets, stood to defend Islam and the 
prophet of Islam , so the Sammaniyya poets, come to preach 
and propagate the traditions of the tariqa. Moreover, the variety 
of the tariqa litanies as well the remembrances were also 
deemed an encourageable reason behind its widespread. Add to 
the above the spread out of Shaykh Ahmad's al-Tayyib sons and 
grandsons, in the all corners of the country as well outside, and 
then their intermarried with the scattered varied tribes across the 
Sudan, greatly comes to help in the spread of the tariqa 
traditions. Lastly it could be said that, the striving as well the 
sincere struggle in devotion, has found to be plain proofed 
reason of its successful spread" . 

Sammaniyya reformist Sufi order 

221 Interview with Seif Adin Sulayman, Omaidan 10, 2013. 


In the academic circles as well in Sufi studies, the Sammaniyya 
has been viewed as a refonnist, revivalist tanqa. Many writers 
and researchers have gone to deal with the tanqa as such. 'By 
the start of the nineteenth century the Sudan began to receive 
representatives of Sufi reformism groups, which began in Hijaz 
(Saudi Arabia) and other parts of the Islamic world, during the 
eighteenth century. Chief among these movements were the 
Sammaniyya and the Khatmiyya” . 'About the same time, 
access to the mystical knowledge of the Sufi orders was opened 
up to commoners. The refonnist Sammaniyya Order, which had 
been a noble preserve to this point, began to spread down the 
social hierarchy. By 1910 it was almost a mass movement. 
Collins gives several descriptions of its impact on Bira in the 
1930s, where the local ruler was a great devotee of it along with 
Gama from Ara“ . The late eighteenth century was 
characterized by severe political instability. The same period 
witnessed the introduction of the revivalist tanqas such as the 
Sammaniyya which was founded in Medina (Hijaz) by 

222 MuStafa Abdelwahid. The rise of the Islamic movement in Sudan 1945- 
1989. the Graduate Faculty of Auburn University, 2008: 84 
223 Thomas Gibson. Indonesia: Global Flows vs. Local Knowledge 
Author(s): Indonesia, Vol. 69 (April. 2000: 52. 

Muhammad b. Abd al-Karim al-Samman, who was bom in 
(1130/1718) and died (1189/1775) in Medina (Hijaz). He was a 
Meccan 'alim and a Sufi. The main revivalist is the Khatmiyya 
which was founded later by the Hijazi- born scholar 
Muhammaad Uthman al-Mirghani. Both tariqas played an 
influential role in Sudanese history during the nineteenth 
century and also in contemporary politics. Out of the 
Sammaniyya sprang the Mahdisit religious movement, which 
ended in the Ansar sect that was later represented by the 
Ummah party. The Khatmiyya tariqa which is the most 
important in Kassala State played noticeable political role 
during the Turkish - Egyptian period, and during the colonial 
and post- colonial era -- . 'Most of the people of northern and 
central Sudan, what I call the North, belonged to Sufi orders. 
Sufism had been present in the Sudan for some time, but in the 
nineteenth century it spread much more widely, under the 
impulse of new orders, many of them centered in nearby Mecca 
and Medina. Most of the West Africans who settled in the 
central Sudan were Sufi , often with the same Qadiriyya 
allegiance as Uthman and his family, Muhammad Ahmad 

224 Amani, M. El-Obeid. Sufi brotherhoods in Kassala & Gedaref 
States. 2005, p. 1 20. 

combined his learning with affiliation and then became a leader 
in the order called the Sammaniyya. Most of these movements 
developed local roots and grievances, over against the “official” 
Islam of Egypt, symbolized often by the venerable Cairene 
university al-Azhar . The idea of the Sammaniyya revivalist 
and reforming tariqa , has been stated by Richard Gray, in the 
Cambridge History of Africa (1975:70) vol.4, in a section 
devoted to the history and the influence of the Qadiriyya in 
Sudan, he has written: 'Towards the end of the Funj period, its 
predominance was challenged by the introduction into the 
Sudan of two new orders, which, although linked with 
traditional Sufism , bore witness to a revivalist and reforming 
spirit in the Islamic world. 'The first of these was the 
Sammaniyya, founded in the Hejaz by Muhammad b. 'Abd al- 
Karim al-Sammani (17 1 8-75) 226 . 

'Whether what was going on with Sufism in the eighteenth 
century was ‘neo -Sufism ’ or a tariqa Muhammadiyya 
movement or something else, it is generally agreed that this was 
the most important Sufi movement of the last three or four 

225 David, Robinson. Islam and the Spirit Cults in New Order Indo Muslim 
Societiesln African History. CUP. Edinburgh. 2004, p.172. 



Ibid: 70. 

hundred years. It is also agreed that the most notable of the Sufi 
orders involved were the Tijaniyya of Ahmad al-Tijani (1 745— 
1815), the Samaniyya of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al -Karim al- 
Samman (1718-75), possibly the Khalwatiyya deriving from 
Mustafa al-Bakrl (1687-1748) and Muhammad al-Hifni 
(1688-1767), and certainly the three major orders deriving from 
Ahmad ibn Idris (1750-1837): the Sanusiyya of Muhammad 
ibn Adi al-Sanusi (1787-1859), the Khatmiyya of Mu 'am mad 
Uthman al-Mirghani (1794-1852), and the Rashidi Ahmadiyya, 
or Rashidiyya,of Ibrahim al-Rashid (1813-74) 227 . 

However, with coming of the tariqa into the Sudan, Shayklr 
Ahmad al-Tayyib has gone with the same spirit of the 
revivalism trend of the Sammaniyya as the case in its birth, so 
his coming to the land of the Sudan with the new philosophy of 
taSawwuf, which was not familiar to the Sudanese Sufis before, 
has opened the door so wide for the dissemination of the al- 
Sammani 's teachings. In this concern Adi Salih Karrar (1992) 
comments: 'Ahmad al-Tayyib was to infuse a new spirit into the 
Sudanese Sufism , leading to a renewed emphasis, not only on 

227 Mark Sedgwick, Saints and Sons, the Making and Remaking of the 
Rashadi Ahmed Sufi Order, 1799- 2000, by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 
The Netherlands, 2005, p: 13. 


such practical aspects of dhikr (remembrance, sc. of God, in 
communal ritual) and madih (songs of praise), but also on 
philosophy of Sufism. Ahmad al-Tayyib was said to have found 
the Qadiriyya and the Shadhiliyya at very low ebb. He felt the 
need for refonn and began to make contact, with the leading 
Shaykli s of his day seeking to persuade them to unite under his 
leadership 228 . 'The spread of the Sammaniyya order to the Sudan 
under the Sudanese scholar Ahmad al-Tayyib w. al-Bashlr" 
(d. 1239/1 824) was another example of a Sudanese going out 
into the wider world, and bringing back new impulses. But the 
Sammaniyya was only the precursor for the spread of a number 
of other orders or brotherhoods that were to dominate the 
devotional life - and thus the writings - of the Northern 
Sudanese in the nineteenth century and beyond” . 'In context of 
Sudanese Islam , Mahdism evoked a mixed response, but the 
reactions to it, were equally intense in both approval and 
rejection. For one thing, Mahdism emerged from within 
Sudanese Sufi Islam and spoke its language. The Sammaniyya 

228 Dirasat Ifriqiyya. Khartoum, Issue No 13, 1995, P: 42 

229 S, R, O'fahey. Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. The writings of 

Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden. The Netherland. 

1994, p.6. 

tariqa, in which Muhammad Ahmad Ibn Abdullahi (the Mahdi) 
was initiated, arrived in Sudan as part of the neo- Sufi wave of 
Islamic revival, which swept the whole Muslim world at the 
beginning in the eighteen century 230 . 

The contributions of the Sammaniyya 

Since its arrival to the land of the Sudan on the second half of 
the nineteenth century, the Sammaniyya has caused profound 
and great impact in the Sudanese society. The tariqa's 
contribution could easily be experienced in the way that 
successfully has spread its wings to reach and cover each inch 
of the huge land of the country spiritually, socially, 
economically, and scientifically. However, the great credit 
account in favour to the Sammaniyya beside its deep wide 
religious impact, is its living scientific legacy, representing in 
the contribution of educating and rearing the Sudanese man, as 
well spreading the virtues set on asceticism, the love of good, 
and abiding with the manners of the owner of the shari'a i.e. the 

230 AbdelwahabEI-Affendi. Turabi's Revolution: Islam and Power in Sudan 

Grey Seal - London, 1991, p. 19. 

prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 231 . The tanqa doctrine can be 
described as: 

1- A method that took its teachings from al-Madina al- 
Munawra, on both the meaning and sensory level. For there is 
no Sudanese Sufi tanqa sharing such privilege. 

2- The contribution of the Tayyiban house to the Sammaniyya 
comes with the contribution of knowledge on the global level, 
and this appeared clearly in the uniqueness of the works of my 
master Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib, who chose the highest 
expressive way of his Arabic language, which comes at the top 
of the classical version of the language. 

3- The influential contribution in forming the spiritual 
geography of the Sudan on both levels vertically and 
horizontally. It is not a secret to tell that, the contribution of the 
majority of the Sufi fariqas, in Sudan, before the coming of the 
Sammaniyya in writing, authoring and then irshad, came into 
colloquial language, which is a language that permits 
communication only on the framework of those who speak and 
understand such language. The best plain proof manifesting this 

231 'AI-Tayyib al-Balal Munir Daf Allah. Rashafat al-Mudam , unpublished 
PhD thesis, Omdurman Islamic University , 2011, p:20. 

^ 286 

feature is the book of the Tabaqat of the renowned w.Dif Allah 
(1722-181 0) 232 . The Sammaniyya tariqa, it is the oldest tariqa 
that form the Sudanese mentality, and continued to practice the 
guidance, and giving taslik, and bia'a, in Funj State for about 
forty years. The Sammaniyya grew up with multi centres, and 
became one of greatest fariqas , in the contemporary Sudan; as 
well it possesses the biggest scientific, spiritual and literary 
library" . Concerning the social impact of the Sammaniyya, ’It 
can be said that, the Sammaniyya, is the most Sudanese tariqas 
of followers, and the most influential on the social sphere, with 
the most abundant production, in the literary as well the 
spiritual sphere 2 ' 4 . The Sammaniyya tanqa could be considered 
a progressive branch of the Qadiriyya, butat the same time, 
enjoys its own autonomy. The Sammaniyya distinguished with 
its, concern with Sufi elite thinking, writings, and editing in this 
field. In fact the Sammaniyya, upon its arrival had found, the 
atmosphere ready, and this helps, in its expansion and 

232 Abd al-Jabar al-Mubark. Al-Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud- Haiathu wa 
Atharhu 2004, p.167-68. 

233 Dirasat Ifriqiyya, issue No 41, Khartoum, 2009, p.28. 

234 Dirasat Ifriqiyya- Issue No 41- December, 2009, p. 29. Khartoum. 


spreading-’ . Upon its entering the Sudan, the Sammaniyya 
based and focused on presenting, the example, showing the 
model as a doctrine of dawah , and proselytizing techniques. The 
Sammaniyya’s Shuyukh introduced themselves, as religious 
scholars, and men of tasawwuf have the methods in education, 
and social refonning and change, on Islamic bases. Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib had enjoyed with all the qualities, which 
made him, qualified to play all the leading roles. The Sudanese 
accepted the Sammaniyya, as with what, were appeared on them 
of science, and their own concern to science, mainly the Qur'an, 
and the other sciences of the shard a. The bulk of the 
Sammaniyya centres, which were established, in the Sudan, 
have the positive role, in the learning of the Qur'an, and the 
other Islamic sciences. And in each centre approximately there 
is a khalwa , for the memorization of the Qur'an '.'All ah Has 
granted, the tarlqa, a divine gift, rare to be found, among the 
Sudanese families. This gift has represented in the ability of the 
eloquent linguistic expression, found in composing poetry, as 
well books writing. This method is known to al-Mirghani, and 
al-Tijani, but through the Sammaniyya, a lot of poets have 

235 Qaisr Musaal-Zy an. /)/-/* 'A t al-Dini fi al-Sudan fi al-Qarn al-Ishrin, UK, 
institute of Asian and African studies, 2010, p.28. 


emerged 2 ’''. The Sammaniyya is an open Sudanese fariqa , since 
the second generation. Several famous khalifas , with such a 
high exalted status in the society, have appeared, and outside of 
the family of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib of those, for example: 
Shaykh Muhammad Waiqi Allah, at the area of al-Zariba, in 
west of Sudan, Shaykh Sharif al-Khatim at Karkog, at the Blue 
Nile, and Shaykh Muhammad Shatoot at Medani, Shaykh 
Muhammad Tom, at the central of Sudan, and his student 
Shaykh Birayer, at White Nile 2 ’ 7 . 

For the one who studies the philosophy of taSawwuf in the 
Sudan, he finds no Sufi philosophy that deserves to be 
mentioned, only after the coming of Shaykh Ahmadal-Tayyib 
who spread his Sammaniyya fariqa in the Sudan. The 
Sammaniyya has left great impact on the life of the Sudanese 
inhabitants, not only on the religious aspects, but in all the other 

23& Tariq Ahmed Osman. Al-Tariqah al-Sammaniyyah wa athrah al-Dini wa 
alljimai fi ll ’’Sudan 1766- 1955. PhD in International African University, 
Khartoum, 2009, p. 133. 

237 Ibid: 133. 

aspects such as the intellectual, political and the social. The 
intellectual impact has been the most prominent of the whole 238 . 

Thus, we find Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-Bashlr "has 
elevated with the Sufism thought in the Sudan. He has linked 
with Tbn Arabi theological school, when he spoke about the 
Unity of Witnessing, and the Unity of Existence. And then he 
has transferred with it to the Sunni philosophy of al-Ghazali on 
his speech on the theory of the Mahammadan Reality" . 

Thus, taSawwuf in the Sudan became connected with the local 
environment and had never being linked with the taSawwuf in 
the Islamic world only after the coming of Shaykli Ahmad al- 
Tayyib b. al-Bashlr" from al-Madina al-Munawara in (1766 
A.D, 1180 A.H), and the arrival of the Sammaniyya to Sudan 240 

Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr 1742-1824 

Shaykli al-Tayyib was born into one of the most prominent and 
long-established clans of religious notables, and learned men in 
Sudan. His predecessors mainly his grandfather was a Qadiri in 

238 Raba'a Ali Osman. Tarikh al-Tarriqah al-Sammaniyyah wa Intisharah fi 
al-Sudan, fi al-Fitrah (1766-1898), Unpublished MA thesis, University of 
Khartoum, Faculty of Education, Department of History 1996. P.94 
239 Ibid: P.96 

240 Ibid: .94 


tariqa , and student of Hasanw Hasuna. He is known as one of 
the most prolific Sufi revivalist, in the history of Islam in 
Sudan. His biography informs that 'He is Ahmad al-Tayyib b. 
Mawlai al-BashTr b. Malik, b. al-ustaz Muhammad Surur, the 
Abbasi, the Sammani in his tariqa , and Maliki in madhab'. 
Master Ahmad al-Tayyib was born at Umm Marrih, north of 
Omdunnan in (1155-1742/3 -1239-1824 AH). His mother was 
Ruqayya bt. Rahama b. Muhammad Surur; his father, who was 
also his mother's cousin, was al-BashTr b. Malik b. Muhammad 
Surur. His pedigree shows that, he had a common ancestry; with 
the Arakiyyun holy clan 241 . Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib is 'A Sufi 
who introduced the Sammaniyya into the Sudan. He was bom at 
Um-Marrih, North of Omdurman. Where he studied at the 
mosque of his ancestor, Muhammad w. Surur {v.k-al.tabaqat, 
344}, then at the mosque of Walad Anis al-Awabi and Ahmad 
al-Fazzari at Um-Talha 242 .The Sammaniyya was spread into the 
Sudan by Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-BashTr" (1742-1824). He was 
initiated into the Way, on several visits to Mecca and travelled 

241 Abd al-Mahmud Nur al-Da'im. Al-K inis al-Mutara fi Manqib al-Sadci ’a 
al-Arba, 2008, p.109. 

242 S, R, O'fahey. Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. The writings of 
Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden. The Netherlandl994, 


widely in the Sudan to form the basis for the new tanqa. This, 
then, was a clear manifestation of tanqa - Way as a more active 
principle than had prevailed in the Sudan earlier. It is not clear; 
however, to what degree an organization beyond that of a series 
of initiations existed at this time. Yet its influence remained 
strong; the Sudanese Mahdi started his career as a Shaykli of the 
Sammaniyya, and — notwithstanding the difference in content — 
the movement he built was clearly influenced by the tanqa 
model. After memorizing the Qur'an, at the mosque of his 
ancestor, Muhammadw Surur, Ahmad studied under Wald Anas 
al-Awdabi, a student of Shaykli Khojali, on the island of Islanj, 
north of Omdurman. He then asked the famous Qadiri Shaykh , 
Abd al-Baqf al-Nayyal, to initiate him in Qadiriyya. Al-Nayyal 
is reported to have communicated with, the spirit of Hasan w. 
Hassuna, who commanded him not, to admit Ahmed 243 . 
Therefore Shaikh Abd al-Baqi told his disciples that Ahmad al- 
Tayyib would get his initiation in Hijaz (Madina). This incident 
could be explained within the context of the development of 
Sufi orders in the Sudan. The Sufi orders available then were 
not able to satisfy the scholarly ambitions of Ahmad al-Tayyib 
al -Bashir" Ahmad was also student of Ahmad al-Fazari al- 

243 AN, Salih, Karrar. The Sufi Brotherhood in Sudan. Hurst. London. 1992. 


Faradi of Um-Talha in Gezira. He then decided to return to 
Umm-Marrih, where he studied of his own, devoting much of 
his time, to the MukhtaSar of Khalil , and a major commentary 
upon it by Barham Al-Damari (d. 805/1 402). So for him there 
was a necessity for a new revivalist spirit which was not found 
in Sinnar. For this reason after travelled to many Sufi Shaikhs, 
and did not manage to fit into their Qadiri branches, he returned 
to his village Um-Marrih where he continued to perform Salat 
on the prophet (twelve thousands times a day) until he claimed 
that he saw the prophet in full consciousness. Here Ahmad Al- 
Tayyib developed a new trend in the Sufi orders in the Sudan in 
the late period of the Funj Sultanate that is performing Salat on 
the prophet as a means of acquiring Sufi status and karamat . 
This was the period before he went to the Hijaz. Tt is significant 
to mention that, at that time, before his travel to Hijaz, Ahmad 
Al-Tayyib Al-Bashlr was famous for being Alim , due to the fact 
that he studied Shari'a sciences under the supervision of Shaikh 
Sa'id Al-Battahani 244 . 

When he was sixteen or eighteen that is in 1758 or 1760 Ahmad 
travelled to the Hijaz. While in Mecca Ahmad al-Tayyib, was 
also initiated by Ibrahim b. Muhammad Abd al-Salam al-Makki 

244 Amani Mohammad Obied. Sammaniyya tariqa, doctrine and politics, 


al-Shafi, a student of Mustafa Kamal al-DTn al-Bakrl, into the 
Khalwatiyya, and by Abd al-Ralnnan al-Aydarns, into the 
Naqshbandiyya. Ahmad was said to have seen in a vision, that 
his real master was Muhammad b.Abd al-Karim al-Samman in 
Medina. He thus, moved and studied under him for several 
years, during which he was initiated by his teacher, into a 
number of tarlqas, among them the Qadiriyya, Khalwatiyya, 
and Naqshbandiyya. After receiving his diploma ( ijaza ), Ahmad 
al-Tayyib was ordered by his master, to return to the Sudan, to 
initiate followers and "to make manifest the signs of the 
religion", izhar maalim al-din 245 . 

After much travelling, he returned to the Sudan, visiting on the 
way Shaykli Hamad b. Muhammad al-Majdhub at al-Damir. 

Back in bUadal-Sudan , Ahmad al-Tayyib possessed enormous 
advantages over his contemporaries - in one of many parallels 
with the career of Ahmad wad Isa - on account of his extensive 
travels and studies and his activism. The material resources 
inherited from his forefathers and the strategic location of 
Umm-Marrih cannot also have failed to contribute to his 
remarkable success during the ensuring five decades in 

245 Ibid. 


attracting to his cause across - section of the Sufis and ulama" 
of the riverain Sudan. For the first time in the Sudan, an entire 
fariqa network emanated from, and recognized the precedence, 
of a single man 246 . 

He settled at his birthplace in 'Abd allabi territory north of 
Omdurman, and acquired a great reputation as a holy man. 
During the regency of Nasir, i.e. between 1788-9 and 1798, he 
was invited to Sinnar to cure the regent's brother, and was 
granted an estate. Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib acquired an 
immense reputation as teacher, and a worker of miracles, 
because of this reputation, he was invited to Sinnar by the ruler 
there to cure his paralyzed brother. It said that the sheik 
miraculously performed the cure, and was given an estate, near 
Sinnar'. Subsequently his influence has left its mark, in the 
Sudanese society. After dwelling in the south for seven years, 
however, he returned to his ancestral home, where he died in 
1824. He won many adherents for the new order, and his 
descendants succeeded him as its local heads. Where the new 
teachings of Sammaniyya attracted many of the Gadiriyya 
Shaykh s to the new style of the tariqa. Also, the personality of 
master Shaykh Ahmad al- Tayyib had really impressed many 

246 Neil McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile, 1993, p: 138. 


previous Gadiri Shaykhs, drawing them to the fold of 
Sammaniyya, Thus Ahmad al-Basir (d.1829) and Muhammad 
Tom Bannaqa' (d.1851), Qadiri Shayklis and religious leaders, 
of the Hallawiyyin and the Yaqubab clans of the Gezira 
respectively joined the Sammaniyya under the influence of 
Ahmed 247 . These men later on became great Masters 

Ahmad Al-Tayyeb was to infuse a new spirit into Sudanese 
Sufism, leading to a renewed emphasis, not only on such 
practical aspects as dhikr (recital) and madih (songs of praise) 
but also on the philosophy of Sufism. Ahmad felt the need for 
refonn, and began to make contact, with the leading Shayklis of 
his day, seeking to persuade them, to unite under his leadership, 
to revive its (the land's) people". He also initiated the scholar 
Ahmad w.Isa Al-Ansari, who sent some of his own pupils, to be 
initiated by Ahmed, among whom was Badawi w.Abu-Safiyya 
D.C.1848), a religious notable of the Bidayyia of Kordofan’ 248 

It is not surprising that wad. Al-Bashlr" should encounter some 
resentment and jealousy, because he possessed the self- 

247 Ali, Salih, Karrar.The Sufi Brotherhood in Sudan. Hurst. London. 1992, p. 

248 Dirasat Ifriqiyya. Khartoum, Issue No 41, 2009. 


confidence, proselytizing zeal, and critical attitude of a 
reformer 249 . 

Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib has traveled throughout the Sudan, 
and the outside, with that sacred inspiration and mission: to 
revive humanity and reveal the truth to everyone's heart. He 
was not only a scholar, but also a highly endowed spiritual 
master conveying the message. He brought spiritual 
illumination to the hearts of thousands; Muslims and Non- 
Muslims. His prayers had given hope to many that were struck 
by incurable illnesses. People around the world that he had 
visited felt the sweetness of his presence. Many were attracted 
by his sincerity, others by the manifestation of a divine light, 
which encompassed his entire being and many others, by his 
friendly and compassionate attitude. His blessed presence and 
spiritual magnetism had given new impetus to the religious and 
social lives of thousands. He had gained a high esteem in 
everybody's heart and continues to be remembered, by so 
many as a great Sufi and spiritual leader. Shaykh Ahmad al- 


Neil McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile, 1993, p: 1 38. 

Tayyib has visited Hijaz, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jerusalem, as well 
many Sudanese cities and villages 250 . 

One of the most famous foreign visits paid by Shaykh Ahmad 
al-Tayyib, after that remarkable of the Hijaz was to Egypt. 
‘While in Cairo, Ahmad visited al-Azhar, where he attended 
some lectures, given by Muhammad al-Amir, a famous 
Egyptian Maliki scholar, who was said to have treated Ahmad 
with honour. It was probably because of this connexion, that 
Ahmad al-Salawi; himself a student of Muhammad al-Amir, 
late after the Turco-Egyptian conquest, cultivated close 
relations with Ahmad, married one of his daughters, and named 
after him. Ahmad continued his journey to the Hijaz, where he 
performed the pilgrimage, and stayed for some time, with his 
teacher Muhammad al-Samman, who later permitted him 
(< adhinlahu ) to return to the Sudan, to pursue his career" . 

From amongst the greatest remembrances (may Allah be 
pleased with him), which incited as well commanded his 
students stick and being observed to, is the recitation of the 

250 Hasanal -Fatih, QarTb Allah. Al-Diir al-Dini wa al-Gitimai wa al-Fikeri 
H’tariqaal-Sammaniyyah). Muhanad. M. A. Khartoum. 2004, p.l 14. 

251 Ali, Salih, Karrar. Sufi Brotherhood in Sudan. Hurst. London. 1992 

1"^ 298 1 

Qur'an, in the morning and evening. So, he used to instruct 
some of his students, to read al-subu, some others, one and two 
chapters of the Qur'an, and so on. He was always known with 
inciting his murids, to read his Sal aw at, prayers which he 
composed in the honour of the prophet (PBUH), mainly his 
salat sir al-asrar, the secret of secrets. In addition to his salat 
al-Lahotiyya , and the others of his Salawat upon the prophet. 
Also, he encouraged reading hizb al-aman, the incantation of 
safety, and his well famous hizb. Moreover, he encouraged his 
students to read la hawla wa la quah ila bil l ah , There is no 
strength nor power except by Allah (45 times) in the morning 
and evening. Adding to that he incites reading al-Fatiha, the 
opening surah (121 times), in the morning and evening. Also, 
he encouraged reading the name al-Kafi, the sufficient one 
(lOltimes) in the morning and evening" . 

Great sayings of wisdom have been attributed to him. While 
some others praising words, pointing to that grand and sublime 
status of f his, among the great ranks of awalTya, have been said 
on his favour. Of his speech (may Allah be pleased with him), 

252 Abd al-Mahmud Nur al-Da'im. AzahJr al-ryidd fi Manaqib al-Arif bi'llah 
Al-Shaykh Ahmed al-Toyyib . 1965, p.164. 

his saying: “In the prophetic communion, the prophet (PBUH), 
never addressed me, except with al-Tayyib my son”. Also, of 
his speech “I was in a hadrah , with all the awaliya , a call from 
Almighty (SWT) said: 'O the folk of awalya, al-Tayyib is 
among your Sultans”. And among his recorded sayings is "For 
every wall there is a path from (one of) the Names (of God); for 
me they are all paths. "Today your Shaykh (Ahmad al-Tayyib) 
is the Shaykh of all Shaykhs" And again, "The Messenger of 
God may God bless and grant him peace - has not been veiled 
from me for an instant. I have not said or done anything without 
his pennission. 'No one today is as close as 1 to the Messenger 
of God" 253 . 

In the writings of the hagiographists as well the researchers 
Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib has been described as a mystic 
scholar and a writer. This fact has been clear pointed out in the 
writings of Shaykh Abd al-Mahamud and Shaykh Hasan al- 
Fatih 254 . ‘Ahmad al-Tayyib wrote prolifically; in fact, a 
voluminous and unprecedented producer of writings was 

253 Neil McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile, 1993, p: 138. 

254 See Abd al-Mahamoud Nur al-Da'im (1954, p.167, 168, 169, 170), and 
Hasanal-Fatih (2004, p.139, 140, 141). 


diagnostics of his generation, though he stood out clearly from 
the rest in this regard. The bulk of his works treated mystical 
themes 255 . The Sudanese noted historian Muhammad Sa'id al- 
Qaddal (d.2008), has described him as the only sole Sufi, who 
comes to write on the philosophy of taSawwuf, he states ;'And 
Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib was the only Sufi, who wrote on the 
philosophy of taSawwuf despite what dominates his writings of 
quotations, to the point it appeared as if it is mukhtarat' 256 . 

He is supposed to have authored over thirty works and treatises. 
The following is a list of the important works that still exist 
today, and can be traced back to him with credibility. A 
numbers of books, tackled the areas of prayers upon the 
prophet, taw hid, ahzabs, and supplications. 

Out of the so many noted authored books, of his is that 
masterpiece, known as 1 -Kitab al-hikam alMusama'a bi Ijawher 
al -freed fi Hem al.wuhda wa al -taw hid. Shortly, kitab al-hikam 

255 Neil McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab- 
Islamic Community in the Nilotic, 1500 - 1850 . Evanston. Northwestern 
University Press. 1993:139. 

256 See Muhammad Sa'id al-Qaddal-Imam al-Mahdi, 1992, p: 30. 


At-Tayyibiyya , or the book of aphorism, which comes into sixty- 
six wisdom, its first edition was in 1955. 

2 -Al-Munajah 

3- Sharh al-Hikam al-Musama bi all'nafas all'rahmani fi ll'tciwr 

A-Kitab an all'basmald. 

5- U'kimiyyd. 

6- Kitab ll'buruj. 

7 - Rati b al-Sa'da ll'kabir. 

8- Mukhtasr ratib al-Sa'da 257 . 

About his litanies, they are four: 

1- Hizb al-Aman min Sdtawat al-Azaman. 

2- Hizb al-Jalal. 

2- Hizb a l -Jamal. 

4- Hizb al-Kamdl , has been written while he was in Egypt" 

257 Hasan al-Fatih. Qarlb Allah. Al-Dur al-DTni wa al-Gitimai wa al-Fikeri 
ll'kirlqa Al-Sammaniyyah). Muhanad. M. A. Khartoum. 2004, p. 1 14. 


Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib has authored many Sal aw at , prayers 
on the prophet, among the famous and the wide known to the 
people of fasawwuf are: 

1- Sir al-Assrar fi Dhikr al-Salat ala al-Nabi al-Mukhtar, the 
secret of secrets. 

2- Salat sir sir al-asrar , the secret secret of secret. 

3- Al-lahootiyya 

4- Al-Adhama 

5- Al-Arshiyya 

6- Al-Nuriyya 

7 - Al-Nur an iyy a 

8- Al-Awsaf 

9- Miftah al-Qulup 

1 0- Al-Kama/iyyia 

11- Al-Ruhiyya 

258 Abd al-Mahmud Nur al-Da'im AzahJr al-Ryiad fi Manaqib al-Arif bi'llahAI- 

Shaykh Ahmed al-Tayyib. 1965:168. 

12- Al-Gamaliyya 259 . 

He has enjoyed many titles, symbolically come to show, that 
exalted calibre and status of which he has realized. Of these 
nicknames: Jebal elixir, the mountain of elixir. al-Sulpm, the 
Sultan, al-qawth, the helper, al-qutb , the pole. Rdjil Um- 
Marrih , the man of Um-Marri h. 

In his noted book of wisdoms the Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib 
states: 'The first maqdrn, in the turuq of the people of Allah, is 
the repentance for Allah, and committing to His obedience, by 
fear of Him, and keeping patient upon the Will of Allah, and 
zuhd on the other, than Allah'. Moreover, of the gems of his 
wisdoms, his saying: 'Never taken you out of witnessing the 
delusion and fantasy, except the abundance of remembering 
Him, with sincerity and supplication. The author of the 
"Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab Islamic 
Community", Neil McHugh (1993), has attributed to him, the 
saying: 'Do not love a man who performs outward karamat , and 
leads the people therewith; he corrupts His religion and will of a 
certainty return to his master'. And in the very same book he 
writes in the description of the perfect Shaykh, by the words: 
"the perfect Shaikh is the one who has acquired the 

259 Ibid: 168. 


transmutation of his self ‘ fani ’ 'an nafsihi' and abides in Allah 
baqi bi-rabbihi ’. He is the one who unveils for the aspirant not 
the reality of the creation ‘al-Athar’, but the reality of the 
Creator “al-Muaththir” 260 

The Shaykli possessed many miracles and clear spiritual 
unveilings, a lot of such extraordinary acts, attributed to him 
were pointed out at the book of azahir al-ryiad (1954) of 
Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud 261 . He would caution the brethren 
from inclining too heavily to miracles and unveilings, and he 
would state that the greatest miracle is upright rectitude upon 
the Sacred Law of Allah. Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib lived to be 
the model of the true, sincere gnostic who sees in the abiding 
with shari 'a, guiding people to the way of returning to Allah, is 
more better than looking for the occurrence of karamd . Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib was in reality, very much like the sun. He 
was a single person spreading his rays of knowledge, and 
spiritualism throughout the earth" . 

260 Khadiga, al-Tayyib, Karrar. Aspects of Sufism in the Sudan, A thesis 
submitted for the degree of Master of Arts of the University of Durham, 
School of Oriental Studies University of Durham, 1975, p.103. 

261 See Azahir al-Ryiad, p: 120 to 138. 

2(,2 Abd al-Jabar al-Mubarak. Al-Shaykh Abd al-Mahammoud- Haiathu wa 
Atharhu 2004: 187. 

However, with the arrival of the Sammaniyya to Sudan, the 
tariqa has brought innovations; this fact was explained in the 
words of McHugh, who states: 

Prominent among its novel figures was the postulation of a 
single way ( Al-Tanqa Al- Muhammadiyya ), the consequent 
harmonization and transcendence of the established turuq the 
devaluation of diverse and divergent silislas in favour of 
submission to the Shaikh of the order, a strong affinity for 
orthodox disciples coupled with an aversion to non a literary 
production (litanies, doctrinal and philosophical treatise that has 
been sustain up to the present), in unprecedented the 
descendants and disciples of Ahmad Al-Tayyib 263 

The above characteristics of the Sammaniyya tariqa , may be 
noticed in the writings of al-Samman and Ahmad al-Tayyib al- 
BashTr" respectively. One of the significant contributions of 
Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr" to the Sufi thought in the Sudan in 
general and the Sammaniyya in particular is his idea of the 
unification of the religious thought. According to his theory in 
this respect he argued that: 

263 Amani Mohammad El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan, 
unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of Khartoum, faculty of 
Economic and Social Studies, 1997, pp. 108, 109. 


All the meanings of the one-hundred and the four holy books 
of the other religions is condensed in the Quran. The meaning 
of the Quran is condensed in the Fat i hci. 

In continuation to Al-Samman's emphasis on Muhammadan 
Reality, Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr" stressed the importance of 
praying upon the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). For him, it 
surpassed the merits of more than seventy ghazwa _( Holy war) 
and it fulfils the needs of the disciple. Moreover, by the 
continuous praying upon the prophet, the disciple discover the 
door to see the prophet either sleep or awake. This itself leads to 
the Hadra Al- Muhammadiwa which is a basic concept in the 
Sammaniyya doctrine 264 . 

Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr" developed a whole discipline of 
Sufi knowledge (epistemology). He divided the Sufi knowledge 
into five branches: 1) al-Nasut (Human) science, ii) al-Malakut 
(Anglican) science, iii) al-Gabarout (The Al-Mighty) science, 
iv) al-Lahout (Divinity) science and v) al-Hahout (Unity) 


science . 

Ibid: 109. 
265 Ibid: 110. 

Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib has left a legacy of millions of 
followers, around the world. His studentsand successors need 
no introduction to the Muslim World. 

Their impact, influence and contribution towards the spread and 
development of Islamic teachings, taSawwuf and Islamic 
thinking have left its mark in the pages of history. Abroad 
characterization of these adepts reveals certain patterns. They 
came from a vast portion of the Bilad al-Sudan, from Ethiopia 
in the east and from as far west as Baghinni - reflective of the 
thickening web of intercommunication across the Sudanic belt 
(McHugh 1994:139)’. He has given ijaza and authorized so 
many of students as Shuyukh. Among the well -reputed, inside 
the Sudan: Shaykh Ahmad al-Basir (d.1780), Shaykh al-QurashT 
(d. 1880), Shaykh Muhammad Tom w.Banaqa (d. 1 85 1 ), 
Shaykh Abd Allah al-Sabonabi (1788-1851), Shaykh Hasib al- 
Kubawi, Shaykh al-Selehabi, Shaykh Muhammad wad-Taha, 
Shaykh al-Amln wad-Umhaqin, this just to name the few. 



fcad al-Basir 



Diagram 6 The well-reputed students of Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib b. al-Bashir 

Relations between the Khatmiyya and the Sammaniyya were 
consolidated under Al-Hasan. Al-Hasan was a frequent visitor, 
to the Sammaniyya centre at Umm-Maririh, north of 
Omdunnan, where he used to spend hours inside the tomb of 
Ahmad At-Tayyib. According to Azahir al-Ryiad , Al-Hasan 
was initiated into the Sammaniyya by Shaykh Hasib b. Imam 
Al-Maghribi, a student of Ahmad Al-Tayyib. Al-Hasan began to 
initiate people into the Sammaniyya as well as into his own 
tanqa. Moreover he ordered his own followers to copy the ratib 
al-sa'da , which is collection of prayers composed by Ahmad al- 

Tayyib, to be used together with the Khatmiyya devotions. Al- 
Mirghani was also friendly with the Sammaniyya branch of 
Shaykli al-QurashT w. al-Zayn (d.1878) of the Halawiyyin in the 
Gezira. While in the Gezira, al-Hasan paid a visit to Shaykh al- 
QurashT during which he copied more of the Sammaniyya 
teachings 266 . Another great Sudanese Sufi personality that came 
to be mentioned, in relations of the spiritual figures link with 
Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib, is the noted famous wall, Shaykh 
w.Badur (1811- 1884). 'His initiation into the Sufi path came 
from two sources: he was initiated into Qadiriyya tariqa at the 
hands of Awd al-Jid of Ufaina, a village in the Gezira; then his 
initiation into the Sammaniyya tariqa was mystically attained at 
the grave of the tarlqa's founder Ahmad al-Tayyib al-BashTr 
(1743-1824). Al-Hasan went on to add: 'wad-Badur as a miracle 
- doer, a Sufi teacher and a popular religious Shaykli, who 
initiated disciples in both the Qadiriyya and Sammaniyya 
traditions 267 . What was stated by El-Hasan (1993:9), could be 
supported by the narration of Shaykh Abd Al-Mahmoud, who 

266 Ali Salih, Karrar. The Sufi Brotherhood in Sudan. Hurst. London, 1992, 


267 Idris El-Hasan. Religion in society- Nemeiri and the turuq. KUP. 
Khartoum , 993, p. 39. 


personally, was told by Shaykh w.Badur, of what had happened 
to him, when he was, at Um-Marrih, at the grave of Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib, so Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, in a section 
dedicated those, who have reaping benefits from Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib, while he was, in his barzakh life, are many, 
among them Shaykh w.Badur. 'Of them, the perfect, and the 
righteous Shaykh al-Ubeid W.Badur, as he orally and 
personally told me 268 . Shaikh al-'Ubaid told Shaikh Abd al- 
Mahamnd Nur ad-Dai’m the grandson of Shaikh al-Tayyib Tbn 
al-Bashi'r, that "My Shaikh is Shaikh Awad al-Jid, my 
inclination is towards Shaikh Hassan w. Hasuna,and my 
direction was by your grandfather Shaikh at-Tayyib". He also 
told him the story of how he was directed by Shaikh al-Tayyib 
although he ws as dead. He said "Shaikh Ibrahim ad-Dusuqi, 
son of Ahmad al-Tayyib Ibn al-Bashlr", arrived at our village. I 
visited him with my brother Shaikh Muhammad al-Muqabli. 
We asked him about anything he heard from his father, Shaikh 
at-Tayyib, before his death. Shaikh Ibrahim told us that Shaikh 
al-Tayyib said that if anyone visited his tomb, he would direct 
him in the same way he had directed others during his lifetime. 
So we decided to visit Shaikh at-Tayyib's tomb. We entered his 

2<lS Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im. Shrub al-Kass fi Hadrat al-Enas, Matcibi 
al-Sudan U’umlci (3 rd edition), Khartoum, 2011, p.164. 


tomb at night and I asked my brother Muhammad to sit at the 
feet of Shaikh at-Tayyib. I went and stayed in the 'khalwah' of 
Shaikh Muhammad w.Surur, grand-father of Shaikh at-Tayyib. 
In the morning each of us acquired what he needed in 
direction" 269 Neil McHugh (1994) went to agree with the same 
very above stated story of Shaykli al-Ubaid with the 
Sammaniyya, he wrote: 'He claimed initiation into the secrets of 
the Sammaniyya after visiting the qubba of Ahmad al-Tayyib 
on the grounds of a saying attributed to al-Tayyib: 'Whoever 
visits me after my death until {the end of} thirty years, I will 
guide him after my death, as I guided others during my 
lifetime 270 . 

Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib has been blessed with many sons and 
daughters, they are: 1-Shaykh Kamal. 2- Shaykli Matae 
(d. 1 820) 3- Shaykli Ibrahim al-Dusuqi (1771-1820)4- Shaykli 
Ahmad al-Badawi. 5-Shaykh Nur al-Da'im (1798-1852). 6- 

269 Khadiga al-Tayyib, Karrar. Aspects of Sufism in the Sudan , A thesis 
submitted for the degree of Master of Arts of the University of Durham, 
School of Oriental Studies University of Durham, 1975, p.128. 

270 Neil Mchugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab- 

Islamic Community in the Nilotic, 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern 
University Press. 1994:181. 

Shaykli Abd al-Wahid (d.1866). 7- Shaykli Abd al-Jabar 
(d. 1 837). 8- Shaykli Ahmad al. -Abbas. 9- Shaykli Muhammad. 
10- Shaykli Yasin. 11- Shaykli Ahmad al-Rufai. 12- Shaykli 
Nur Allah (d. 1 827). 13- Shaykli Wahab Allah. 14- Shaykli 
Abu-Salih (1795-1869). 15- Shaykli Abd-Rahman (d.1872). 
While three male- boys died as young, they were: Abd Allah, al- 
BashTr and Abd al-Qadir. In addition he had 1 6 females; some of 
them had left behind offsprings, while some others did not . 

The cerntres of th eparTqa 

Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib powerful personality with the broad 
knowledge, coupled with his spiritual strength. Adding to the 
combination of Sufism with shari'a , in his works, which shows 
his general spirit, in reform and dawah were of great help, in the 
acceptance of the new teachings of the Sammaniyya. 'The 
Sammaniyya fariqa in Sudan has spread, through two axis: One 
through the efforts of the Shuyukh of the Tayibiyyan house, and 
the second through the grand students of Shaykli Ahmad al- 
Tayyib, and their students after them, as well by those who 
were authorized by the Tayyibiyan 's house Shuyukh' . Therefore 
Shaykli Abd al-Jabar al-Mubarak, the notable Sammani Shaykli 



and scholar went to specify, the most famous centres of the 
Tayyibiyan house Shuyukh as follows: 

1-The centre of the tariqa at Um-Marrih runs by the sons of 
Shaykli Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im. 

2- The centre of Tabat runs by the sons of Shaykli Abd al- 
Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im. 

3- The centre of Tabat the Eastern runs by the sons of Shaykli al- 
BashTr w.Nur al-Da'im. 

4- The centre of the tariqa at Jebal Awallya runs by the sons of 
Shaykli Abd al-Majeed w.Nur al-Diam. 

5- The centre of the tariqa at Omdurman runs by the sons of 
Shaykli Qarlb Allah Abu-Salih. 

6- The centre of the tariqa at Shaambat runs by the sons of the 
Shaykli Abdr-Rliman b. Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib. 

7- The centre of the tariqa at al-Jabalein runs by the sons of 
Shaykli Idris b. Shaykli Abd al-Qadir b. Shaykli Abdr-Rahm an. 

8- The centre of the tariqa at al-Surrarab, the Tayyibiyan castle 
runs by the sons of Shaykli Ibrahim al-Dusuqi b. Shaykli 
Ahmad al-Tayyib. 

9- The centre of the tariqa at Abu-Gebeha runs by the sons of 
Shaykh Hashim b. Sliaykh Abd al-Qadir b. Shaykh Nur al- 

10- And it has branches outside the Sudan, like that one in 
Ethiopia, which runs by the sons and the grandsons of Shaykli 
Abd al -Mahmoud 272 . 

There are two other famous of the Tayyibiyan house centres, 
which is Omaidan, Sinnar State, north of Dender, runs by 
Shaykh al-Sammani Shaykh al-BakrT (b. 1 954). This branch 
recently turned one of well-reputed and active branch of which 
comes also to represent the Tayyibiyan house, is that one of 
Shaykli Bakri Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib (b.1948) near al- 

212 Musat al-dhikr bi ll-Sudan, Khartoum, Voll, 2006, p.266. 


Ahmed's al-Tayyib 

of Shaykh Qarib 

9- Omaidan - 
Shaykh al-Sammin 
shaykh al-Bakri 

sons of shaykh Idris 

Diagram 7 the Sammaniyya most famous sites established by 
the sons and the grandsons of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al- 


The decentralization of the tanqa 

Sammani leadership is not centralised. Each centre of Sammani 
thought is free to adopt its own interpretations and practices. It 
is therefore impossible to claim to be leader of this tanqa, as 
most of them exist independently of each other. These centres 
act to duplicate the roles of the holy cities of al-Madina al- 
Munawara , its birthplace, and Um-Marrih, as symbolic roots of 
the tctnqa . 

The branches of the tanqa are autonomous branches, each with 
its independent Shaykli , and its particular chain of spiritual 
authority, but met at the one of the earlier students, which 
gradually and subsequently leads to the founder of the tanqa , 
Shaykh al-Samman. The meeting ground for the branches was 
the common respect they paid to the founder of the order and 
his grandsons. Each branch of the tanqa has a Shaykh at the 
hierarchy who enjoyed absolute authority. 'When it came to 
practice, the Sudanese Sammaniyya resembled the Egyptian 
Khalwatiyya- Bakriyya (as well as many tariqas ) in not 
subordinating its various branches and lodges, to systematic 
direction from the centre. Reverence to Shaykli Ahmad al- 
Tayyib was not a negligible force for cohesion; and his 
reformist ideas and precepts did give the body of his followers 
greater drive and direction, than the older affiliations" . SufT 
movements in Sudan have great influence, especially the 
Samaniyya order, which is the largest SufT order in Sudan. This 

273 Neil McHugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab- Islamic 
Community in the Nilotic , 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern University 
Pressl993: 140. 


movement is not centralized, which means that it has several 
leaders in different areas. It has two centers in Umm Durman 
alone, in addition to other centers in the center of Sudan, 
Kordafan, and other regions." 

Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud b.Shaykh Nur al-Da'im, has 
mentioned that, the death of the qntb , Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib 
was in the year 1239 A.H, corresponding to 1824, at age of 8, 
spent thirty out of it, seeking -guidance as student. And after 
granting the ijaza, and spent nearly fifty-five years, as a Shaykh 
in the Sammaniyya tarqia 27 \ His mausoleum at Um-Marrih, 
north of Omdurman, is still an object of popular veneration. 

Figure 4 -8 masid of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib b al-Bashir” 
(1742-1824 Um-Marrih. Khartoum State. 

274 trends in 

275 Abd al-Jabar al-Mubarak. Al-Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud- Haiathu wa 
Atharuhu2004 , p.187. 

Chapter five 

The Earlier Students 
Shaykh Ahmad al-Basir 1778 - 1831 

Shaykli Ahmad al-Basir, belong to a very famous family, 
known with its concern of teaching, the holy Qur'an, at al- 
Halawiyyin in central Sudan. In his tribal affiliation, he belongs 
to the famous Halawiyyin tribe. He was born in Dolqa, a village 
which founded, by his grandfather. Shaykli al-Basir pursued to 
teach the Qur'an, guidance as well brought up his murids at 
Dolqa, but with the rapid increase of his students, whom the 
place, didn't suffice to accommodate, he preferred finally to go 
to more wider place, so he slightly went westward, and set up 
his village, which comes, to carry his name. So, in the outset he 
dug a well, and established khalwa , for teaching and learning 
the Qur'an, moreover, he went to make and sign reconciliation 
with the Kawahla, who were in conflict with his tribe. For 
consolidating this good spirit, he married the daughter of 
Shaykh al-Kawahla, Muhammad al-Aghabush, who blessed 
him, his son Shaykh al-Aghabash. It worth stating that Shaykli 
al-Basir had lost one of his eyes, in a battle, that took place, with 
that tribe (the Kawahla). Thus, people went on calling, him al- 

Darir , the blind man. Shaykh went on prolong periods of 
seclusion and devotion. However, when Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib returned from Hijaz, and the notable Shaykh s, of his 
time, had refuged to him, Shaykh al-Basir was one of them, so 
directly went and initiated as student, in the Sammaniyya. 
Shaykh al-Tayyib then called him al-Basir, the one who sees. 
The story of this nickname (al-Basir) was told as follows: 'You 
had already reached a very exalted level in spiritualism and 
devotion, you need nothing, but a guide', a voice called upon 
him one day. After healing this calling, he directed to Um- 
Marrih, to meet Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib, for taking the 
pledge. Before his arrival, Shaykh al-Tayyib told, 

that a man of such so and so, is on the way to them, the Shaykh 
spoke about him, in a way of good words of praising, and when 
the people in the presence of the Shaykh saw him, they secretly 
said to themselves: 'Is this all praising, for this blind man', 
Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib responded to them, 'No, but he is the 
basir, the one who sees', and from that day onwards, he was 
known, by this nickname, and no more. 

In Azahir al-Ryiad Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im 
(d. 1 915) devoted the last section of the book, to tell the story 

life of the students of the qutb, no doubt of those earliest 
students, is Shaykh Ahmad al-BaSir, so, he stated: 'And among 
them, the banner of the secrets, and the lights' planet, samir , the 
companion of the prophetic presence, and the master of the 
lighten insight, Shaykh Ahmad al-Basir Abd al-Raziq al- 
Halawi. He (May Allah be pleased with him) was a blind, but 
my master Shaykh (May Allah be pleased with him' had 
nickednamed him after al-Fath ; 'the opening' with 'al-Basir' so 
he has gone with this and nothing else. He was one of the 
noblest students of the Shaykh and loveable to him. And the 
Shaykh (May Allah sanctify his secret) didn’t spread for none 
of his students a mat in front of him, to sit on, except for him 
and his son, sayidi Shaykh Matiae (May Allah be pleased with 
him), Shaykh used to say' I saw the prophet (PBUH) in the 
presence spread out to them. Shaykh Ahmad al-Basir was of 
frequent communion and meeting with the prophet, and he used 
to consult him in all his matters, and (the prophet) did not went 
absent of him, he was an example to the true devout striving 
Sufi, never tasting sleeping nor eating, his wird in each night 
was 60 thousand lailah ila Allah, except of his wird from the 

Qur'an, involuntary prayer, and the prayer upon the prophet 
(PBUH) 276 . 

Shaykli al-Basir has given the grand ijaza, by his teacher 
Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib, and then was instructed to go back to 
his homeland in Gezira, central Sudan. Many people and 
students had come to him, asking the pledge, in the teachings of 
the Sammaniyya. Out of the most notable men, who came to be 
initiated by Shaykli al-Basir, was Shaykli al-QurashT, 


and Shaykli Hessein w.Subahr .'Shaykli al-Hessein w.Subahi 
is of the relatives of Shaykli Idris, and one of the 
notable deeds of his, he was the first to build his teacher's 
tomb 278 . 

276 Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im, Azahir al-Ryiad , p: 290. 

277 Article written on Shaykh al-Basir in the possession of the current khalifa 
Shaykh Hasim, village of Shaykh al-Basir. 

27S Mausuat ahal al-Dhikr hi 11 ’Sudan, Dar matabi al-Umla , Khartoum, Vol 3 
2004: 571. 


Shaykh Muhammad Tom w.Bannaqa 1764- 1851 

Sliaykh Muhammad Tom w. Bannaqa (1764-1851) is one of 
the most powerful saintsin Sudan. Hehailed from a very 
illustrious family the Ya'qubab, whose grandfather Shaykh 
Bannaqa b. Ya'qub was one of the earliest men initiated in the 
Sufi path in Sudan. 'He is the Shaykh of tanqa, and the tongue 
of haqiqa , whose fame reached the eastern and the western, and 
over the shaeri of status and portion, abu-alfeid , our Shaykh 
the knower of Allah, Shaykh Muhammad Tomb. Banaqa b. 
Shaykh Haju al-Aliamar b. Shaykh Abd al-Qadir b. Shaykh Haju 
wad- Hamad 279 . ' Muhammad is his name, and al-T5m is a 
nickname for him. He was a mountain in science. Firstly was 
initiated into the Qadiriyya, Bahariyya, at the hand of his father, 
and then he was initiated by, his uncle Shaykh Mudawi b. 
Marzuq. He strove greatly at the very same tanqa , but never 
had gained his request. The divine providence had attracted 
him, and his heart had clung, with tongue of the age, and his 
imam, the qutb Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib 280 . 'Muhammad al- 

279 Abd al-Mahmud Nur al-Da'im. Azahir al-Ryiad fi Manaqib al-Arif bi'llah 
al-Shaykh Ahmed al- Tayyib. 1 965 : 23 2) 

280 Bannaqa' Zyan al-Abdin. A dab Suluk al-Owaum fi Ocisaid ll’arif bi 
11 Allah saiyidi Shaykh al-Tom , printed in UAE, 201 1 p,5. 

Tom w.Bannaqa' of the Ya'qubab- Hajuwab also had 
distinguished legacy to build on, but he slightly reoriented it and 
infused it with energy through his conversion to the 
Sammaniyya 281 . 

'My master Shaykli Muhammad al-Tom was not khalifa to his 
father, but his eldest brother Shaykh Haju was. He was born at 
al-Tomat, near al-Sabil, in 1177.A.H, and passed away in 
1268. A.H, at his village (The village of Shaykh al-Tom 
w.Banaqa), south of the tomb. This period had witnessed the 
end of the Funj kingdom, and then the fall of Sudan, at the 
griped fist of the Otoman-Turkish rule. At the hand of the 
knower of Allah, and the scholar, his father Shaykh Haju al- 
Ahmar, studied the Qur'an and its sciences. And at the age of 
seven his father had moved, from al-Tomat to w.Sa'ad, and 
there he completed his memorization of the Qur'an, and its 
sciences, also under his father he began his fiqh and theology 
studies. The Shaykli from early of time, had shown, strong 
desire for learning, but his presence, at the masid of his father, 
and what was required, of serving the guests and the murids , 

281 Neil, Mchugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab- 
Islamic Community in the Nilotic, 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern 
University Press. 1994, p.179. 

stood as an obstacle, for him to carry on his demand of learning. 
Because of this, he moved to w.Nal and studied, at the hand of 
al-Fakl Muhammad (w.Abnaal), the two parts of the Risala of 
Tbn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawanai (d. 3 86/996). And then moved to 
Sinnar, and studied the Muata'a of Imam Malik, at the hand of 
al-Fakl (Nur w-Saber). And then went to al-Fekhaikhir, and 
studied the hikam Ibn Ata Allah al-Sakandri, at the hand of al- 
Faklal-Qurashi al-Mansuri “. 'He (may Allah be pleased with 
Him), is a sea in science, known by his firm steadfast to the 
etiquette of the Islamic law, and his excel in legal sciences'" . 
Shaykli Abd Allah w. al-Azraq said, 'When the sickness which 
attacked Shaykli Bannqa, and caused his death, asked and 
recommended his son, and stated to him that he has a trust with 
Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib. Wdien Shaykh al-T5m was told this, 
he was twenty in age, while Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib, was 


forty- two years old" . ’Probably as I see it, it was a night 
vision, happened to him (Shaykh al-T5m), and that my master 
Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib had attained the qutbiyya , at the age 

282 Bannaqa 1 Zyan al.Abdin. Adah Suluk al-Owaum fi Oasaid ll’arif hi 
11 Allah saiyidi Shaykh a l -Tom, printed in UAE, 201 1 p 7. 

28 i Mohammad al-Fatih al-Maghrabi, Shaykh Mahammad Tom w.Bannaqa', 
Majalt al-TaSawwuf al-Islami, 1 984-60. 

284 Al-Hajj, w al-Azraq. Awjaz al-Anba fi Sirat Adeb ol-Udaba. Damascus. 

2008, p.36. 

of seventy, and Shaykli al-Tom was at the beginning of fifties. 
And in the knowledge of Allah, he has strong belief to attain or 
have the trust of his grandfather; Shaykli Musa w. Yaqub was 
reported as one of the afraad. And there was no way left, to 
achieve this only through taking the bia'a or tariqa , from the 
pole of the time that because his Shaykli in the Buhariyya had 
helped him, to attain the status in which he was standing. So, of 
the greatest bounties of his maw la , he was appointed, to the 
knower by Allah, my master Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib. Thus, 
the divine providence has attracted him, to walk to that wall, 
and through his sound doctrine, asked nothing only the Divine, 
Allah 285 . 

He travelled with a group of people, to take the pledge and 
tariq. And when he drew near the place where Shaykli resides, 
the Shaykli told his students, with his coming, by saying:' Now, 
will come to you adib al-al-udaba 286 '. And when he reached 
and initiated into the tariq , Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib, said to 
him, as Sharif Abd Allah b.Imam, told his a uncle Shaykli 
Mudawi wald Shabli .'You're my student, at the time, you were 

285 Ibid:54. 

286 Adib al-udaba nickname given by Shaykh Ahmed al-Tayyib to his student Shaykh al- 
Tom, indicates the student strict observance to the manners of the tariq. 


9 o 7 

at your mother's womb'“ . After he took the bia'a , he went in 
the service of his Sliaykh, watered, sometime went in collecting 
woods, and was told to serve, our aunt grandmother Fatima bt. 
Abd al-Jabar. His Shaykh gave him, the good tidings, that he 
will be the Baraka of his own folk, and a refuge to the whole. 
After spending seven days, in the service, of his own Shaykh , 
he was addressed, by saying: ' I had granted you the status of 
your grandfather, Shaykh Musa b.Yaqub'. Shaykh Musa. And 
then he (Shaykh al-Tayyib) added: 'I made you, the owner of the 
land of the south, ard al-Saeed , and I opened to you, what had 
been locked.*" The Shuyukh of the Yaqubab said, Shaykh al- 
Tom everyday was visiting his Shaykh, with ounce of gold, and 
when at the seventh day, he collected all what his students had 
of money, and presented to the Shaykh. Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib said to him: 'Have you spent what you had? 

It was reported that, when Shaykh al-Tom, answered in 
affirmative', the reply came from his ustaz, by saying: 'We have 
made you perfect'. 

287 Al-Hajj, w. al-Azraq. Awjoz al-Anba fi Sirat Adeb al-Udaba. Damascus. 

2008, p.36. 

288 Abd al-Mahmud Nur al-Da'im. Azdhir al-Ryiad fi Manaqib al-Arif bi'll 
al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib . 1965: 


'One of the most famous narrations that we have is that. What 
Shaykh Muhammad Abd al-Karhn al-Sammani had gained in 
seventy years, Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib had it, in seven years, 
and Shaykh al-Tom had, in seventh days'. 

The birth of Shaykh al-Tom was at the end of the Funj rale, so 
years passed by, and he came to witness the Turks injustice and 
their aggressive rule. Like other Sudanese people, the clan of 
the Yaqubab, which the Shaykh was a member, had suffered the 
calamities and the ordeal of the then ruler. But, unlike the 
others, it had shown some sort of defiance and stood fasting, at 
his face. 'When they - Turks- come to encounter such strong 
steadfast from the Yaqubab, they found themselves in a position 
to talk to them, these talks end with their submission and 
subjection of the Turks, to Shaykh al-Tom 289 . Shaykh al-T5m 
was active in emanating the Sufi teachings of the Sammani 
order and his message was well accepted and gained many 

The Yaqubab remained gave the pledge of the Qadiriyya, up to 
the age of Shaykh al-Tom w.Banqa, after that Shaykh al-Tom 
took the pledge of the Sammaniyya tariqa, from Shaykh 



Ahmad al-Tayyib (Um-Marrihi). The doctrine of the Shaykh 
Muhammad Tom, with those who seek guidance, based on 
engrossing in abundance of dhikrs , prayer upon our master 
Muhammad (PBUH), repeating al-Mada’ih an-Nabawiyyah 
(Prophetic Eulogy), the Shaykh was named adibal-Udaba, that 
because when he entered to the assembly of the Shaykh 
(Ahmad al-Tayyib), with his murds, he stripped off the turban, 
and then asked all those with him, to do the same, commenting: 
'Until the Shaykh be distinguished from th q fuqara'. And by 
this he deemed the first figure, who came with the wrapping of 
the waist, or what is known as the belt within the Sammaniyya 
tradition. The formula, Allahu alwahid Allah, is the original 
dhikr of the tariqa of Shaykh al-Tom, this type of dhikr, known 
as al-zird 290 . 

It is significant to mention that Shaikh Muhammad al-Tom 
introduced al-Dhikr al-Siryyani into the Sammani tradition and 
developed it after he became an independent Shaikh. By doing 

this, this type of dhikr though not widely spread in the Sammani 
centres, became part and parcel of the Sammani tradition 291 . 

Many scores of notable personalities had praised and pointed to, 
the sublime status of Shaykli al-Tom, among the court of the 
awaliya. Of those sayid Muhammad Uthman (1793-1853) of 
Mecca, Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, in his book A zdh Ira—ryia d , 
on page 234, stated:' The faqeh al-Maki w.Massaed, the son-in 
law of the current khalifa , al-Mahi, told me 
said:' I heard my master al-Hasan al-Mirghani, (may Allah be 
pleased with him) says: ' Of the guided awaliya , at our own 
time, only two were left, our father al-sayid Muhammad 
Uthman in Mecca, and Shaykh Muhammad al-T5m at the land 
of the Sudan. 292 . The famous Qadiri wall , Shaykli Awad al-Jid 
al-Klialdi, had said: 'The one, whose father didn't leave him, a 
brother like that one of Shaykli al-Tom, the men would play on 
him . While the gnostic and the unique of his time Shaykh al- 

291 Amani Mohammad El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan, 
unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of Khartoum, faculty of 
Economic and Social Studies, 1997, p. 122. 

292 Awjaz al-Anba fi Sirat Adeb al-Udaba. 
Damascus. 2008, p 56. 

293 Abd Allah, Ya'qub. Mishal al-Sujlyya ind al-Yaqubab. 

Khartoum. 1992,p. 4. 

QurashT (1774: 1880), said about him 'At the foot of 
Shaykh Abu al-Qasim al-Junayed, he put his own 294 . 

Shaykli wrote his poems, in style and away understood by the 
layman. His arts was pure, didn’t compose for the elite or the 
scholars, but for the public and simple people. Despite this, but 
his style is unique and distinguished with the taste'. What was 
published of Shaykh's poems, one could come to see, the areas 
that has tackled, easily will found them focus on the 
suluk 295 . The accomplished poet of the Sammaniyya al-Makawi 
(d. 1 943), in his wide fame ode, ”ya liyla lilik jana ", went on to 
chant and praise the exalted status of the Shaykh : 

Al-Tomal fi Azazu hi eshara min nzaazu 

WaSlu rnalk rnigazu wa meftah alshuna hazn 

Al-Tom at his own Azaz 296 

With I sham from his masters 

Approached him and own his due 

294 See Abd al-Mahmoud, Nur al-Da'im al-Kuus al-Mutra 'a fi Mauqib al- 
Sada al-Arba, 201 f p. 58. 

293 Mohammad al-Fatih el-Maghrabi, Shaykh Mahammad Tom w.Bannaqa', 
Majal al-TaSawwuf al-Islami, 1 984, p. 6 1 . 

296 A1-Azaz: the name of place where Shaykh lived, it is in the west of 


And the key of Shuna had “ 

In a thesis submitted as PhD, and dedicated to contemporary 
Sudanese Muslims saints legends, at the university of Indiana, 
in the fall of 1983, the researcher AbdelSalem Sharf El-Din, has 
come to tell, the story of the Sinnar's ulamd, who decided to test 
the Sliaykh : 

Listener: 'Don't you remember the story of the ulamd , who once 
came to Sliaykh 


Narrator: 'That one. They come to test him' 

Listener: 'The one about, the ulamd of Sinnar' 

Narrator: 'After they had been offered something, to drink, they 
then proceeded to the mosque, to conduct the test. The Sliaykh 
welcomes, the ulamd , and goes to the mosque, for the test. At 
the Sliaykh command, 'stop chatting you the birds, and let's 
hear, what our masters ulamd , have to say', the birds in a nearby 
tree, stop their chatting. The ulamd amazed, whispered to each 

297 Ya liyla lilik jana ' a poem. 


other, 'What are you going, to say to he who, silenced the 
birds! ! ! ?. And they depart without conducting the test 298 . 

It worthy to note that, the map of the Sammaniyya in Sudan 
points to the fact, that Shaykh al-Tom and the unique students, 
that had he initiated and granted the ijaza, have the lion share, 
in the spread of the teachings of the to riqa, across the country. 
‘Muhammad combined his own reformist and cultured intellect, 
and his distinction as a poet of classical Arabic, with a 
traditional and familiar style of leadership to draw large and 
diverse followers from as far away the White Nile and Rahad, 
as well among the Ya'qubab themselves. His most prominent 
pupils were Birayer w. al-Hasin of Shabasha on the White Nile; 
Muhamad al-Nur b. Arabi, the rajil of Rayba, just outside of 
Sinnar; and Talha b. Husayn al-Falati; whose khalwa was on the 
Blue Nile across from site of future Maiwumo. There is a 
tradition among the Ya'qubab that one of the Muhamad al- 

298 Sharf El-Din, abdelSalam. A study of Contemporary Sudanese Muslims 
Saints' Legends in sociocultural context. Unpublished PHD thesis, 
University of Indiana. 1985. P. 

Tom's disciples was Dinka 299 . Among the famous students also 
is Shaykli Abd al-Qadir Abu.el-Husna, and Shaykh Rehuda etc. 
One of the wanders of his guidance was what it was with 
Shaykh al-Tayyib w. al-Daw al-Saddiqapi, after he objected on 
him, he rolled to him the obstacles of the nafs , and made him, 
the heir of his folk in guidance, and those of who weren't, of his 
offsprings, had no luck, in guidance, and he became not only 
the eminent among all the Sadiqab , but also their baraka, and 
their refuge’. Shaykh al-Tayyib became to inherit the status of 
his clan in guidance, and became unique among all the Sadiqab , 
and his offsprings have inherited the tariqa , baraka , and 
righteousness. He transferred from Shaykli al-Tom the dhikr of 
his fathers, i, Qsirriyyani dhikr , and still his sons and grandsons 
inherited the siriyyani dhikr , the tariqa litanies and its sanad 
from great to great. His grandson Shaykh Ali al-Merein, the 
father of Shaykh al-Tayyib (Hilaliya) has visited al-Amara, at 
the year in which he had passed away, and came to speak, about 
him in good words, out of his beauty, illumination and the 

299 Neil Mchugh. Holymen of the Blue Nile: The Making of an Arab- Islamic 
Community in the Nilotic, 1500-1850. Evanston. Northwestern University 
Press. 1994, p: 1 80. 

apparent righteousness’ 00 . Meanwhile the most trusted and the 
reliable source who came to comment and tell, the story of 
Shaykh al-Tayyib w. al-Daw, initiation into the Sammaniyya at 
the hand of Shaykh al-Tom, is Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur 
al-Da'im, in his book, al-kuus al-mutraea fi manqib alsadah 
alarbaea. He writes 'And from the Hajuwab, al-Yaqubab, our 
Shaykh , our teacher, the knower of Allah, sayyidi Shaykh 
Muhammad Tom, (may Allah be pleased with him), b. Shaykh 
Ban al-Naqa'. Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud went on and stated, that 
through Shaykh al-Tom's guidance was fulfilled to Shaykh al- 
Tayyib, he writes: 'And also by him- Shaykh al-Tayyib b. 
Shaykh al-Daw' Moreover, Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud in the 
above stated book went on, to tell the whole story of the 
initiation he continues: 'For illustrating this (the story of 
initiation), Shaykh al-Daw was asking, the tariqa from, the 
teacher (Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib) but the Shaykh declined, 
for a knowledge that he hides. Then the mentioned (Shaykh - 
Shaykh al-Daw) asked the permission, if he begot a boy, to 

300 A1-Hajjw al-Azraq. Awjaz al-Anba fi Sirat adeb al-Udciba. Damascus, 

2008 . 

name him (al-Tayyib), after him. Then Shaykli addressed him, 
said: 'I presented to yon the name and his soul'. So, when he had 
given a boy, he named him al-Tayyib. When he grew up he took 
the Qadiriyya at the hand of Shaykh Abd al-Bagi Abd al-Qadir 
al-Bathani, he spent a time with the tariqa , and then went to the 
hajj, and the prophet's visitation. There he had seen the prophet 
in a vision, pointing to him, to take the fariqa , at the hand of 
Shaykli Muhammad Tom, (may Allah's mercy descend upon 

OA 1 

his soul) J . A third source which went to point to the ties of al- 
Sadiqab with the Sammaniyya, is the historian Qaisr al-Zayn 
who writes: 'And of the Sammaniyya centres, which transferred 
from the Qadiriyya, is the branch of the Sadiqah , in the south 


west of the Gezira, and its extension in Gadarif region 
Shaykli al-Tom has passed away at the age of 83, and came to 
be buried at the tomb, that built by his first khalifa Shaykh Abd 
al-Qadir b. al-Khidir, turned a place of attraction to the visitors. 

301 See Abd al-Mahamoud Nur al-Da'im Al-Kuss al-Mutra’a fi Manqib al- 
Sada al-Arba, 2011 , p 154. 

302 Qaisr Musaal-Zyan. cil-Fikr al-Dmi fi al-Sudan fi alqarn al-Ishrin, UK, 
institute of Asian and African studies, 2010:28. 

337 ^ < 

Shaykh aUom 

Diagram 8 famous students of shaykh al- Tom 


Figure 5- 2 some relics of Sliaykh Muhammad Tom w. Bannaqa'. 


Fiugre 5- 3- the tomb of Shaykh Muhammad Tom w.Bannaqa' 
(1764-1851), Sinnar State. 

Shaykh al-QurashT 

The influence of Shaykli al-Qurashi in the Sammaniyya since its 
arrival to Sudan is well known; manifested upon notable 
students emerged as propagators to its teachings across the 
country and the outside.His full name is, Shaykli Muhammad 
Ahmad (al-QurashT) b. al-faqeh Ali b Rabih b.Youns, 


bom in 1774. His grandfathers descended from Hijazi tribe, his 
lineage ends with sayidna al-Husayn b. saiyda Fatima al-Zahra 
the daughter of the messenger of Allah (PBUH), and then he is 
Husayni Sharif. His grandfather Shaykh Ali married the 
daughter of the famous wall Shaykh Abu-Suqra w.Agabeen 
(1857-1933) of al-Hilalyia. While his father al-Zayn married a 
woman from the Halawiyyin °\ 'My master Shaykh al-QurashT 
was born at the village of Mustafa Qurashi. He took the Sufi 
pledge at the hand of my master Shaykh Ahmad al-Basir 
(d. 1 7 80 ), while later on came to renew the bia'a , at the hand of 
the founder of the farlqa , in Sudan my master Shaykh Ahmad 
al-Tayyib (1742-1824). Shaykh al-QurashT started his 
religious education, at the khalwa of his father al-faqeh al-Zayn, 
and then went to - in Gezira, where he finished 
the memorization of the Qur'an, studied the science of sharia 
and read the treatise of Ibn Abi-Zayd. In fact al-QurashT the 
nickname, which comes to replace the real name of the Shaykh, 
has the story, which states, ‘one day Shaykh al-Fadni, asked 
my master Shaykh al-QurashT, of his family and clan, it was 
said, his reply, was that he belongs to the Quraish tribe, from 
that day a long, the Shaykh and the students, went on calling 

303 Qurashi Ibrahim Ali. Salat al-Hcial li man arada 11 Allah al-WiSal, al- al- 
Zaiytona for printing, Khartoum, 2013, p.7. 


him, al-Qurashf. The period which Shaykh al-Qurashi had spent 
at the khalwa of Shaykli Ali al-Fadni was a fertile and 
prosperous periods of his age. It had come to occupy a highest 
position at the history of his life, for it joined him with a lot of 
colleagues who later come to form a homogeneous fibre in the 
society. Of those students of knowledge who finally turn to be 
shuyukh and an exemplary model, is his study mate and long- 
time friend Shaykh Ibrahim al-Kabashi (b-1786). Thus, the 
Shaykh more than a once used to repeat his saying:' My brother 
Ibrahim al-Kabashi and I do know, what on our Shaykh , and 
doeslie know, what on us'. This intimate and cordial relation had 
continued even after they graduated from the khalwa , for they 
were in constant contact, despite the geographical location that 
separates them. Also of those who accompanied him at the 
khalwa was Shaykh Hamad al-Nil al-Araki (1811-1892 ), the 
heir of the Qadiriyya Arakaiyya silsila 304 . 

From wad al-Fadni the Shaykli went to Abu-Ushar, and under 
al-faqeh Ali b. Muhammad Um-Hamadin studied the fiqh' h 
After staying in Mustafa Qurashi, he became successor of his 

304 Abdr-Rhman. A. M.Al-Yaas. al-Shaykh al-Qurashi (1209 
A.H-1794-1297 A.H,-1880), unpublished partial MA thesis in modern 
history, University of Gezira, faculty of education- Hasaheisa, 2001, p79. 
305 Mausuat ahal al-Dhiki* hi ll ’Sudan, Khartoum, Vol.4, 2008: 1003. 

father al-Zyan. The number of students who came to him was 
numerous and the space there was not enough. As a result of 
this he travelled to the village of Tayyiba where he established 
the centre. He built a new mosque in the centre in which he 
taught Islamic sciences himself 306 . 

The established centre of Tayyiba later has come, to play a vital 
role in the spread of the Sammaniyya teachings across all the 
country. In Tayyiba, he continued his sacred mission; a lot of 
more students came to be initiated into the tanqa , and Qur'anic 
learning. Beside Um-Marrih, Tayyiba turned the focal point, 
and the place of attraction, to the seekers of truth. 

His student Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im(1845- 
1915), in his famous book Azahir al-Ryiad (1954), which 
devoted to the life of Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib, and his 
students, had peculiar Shaykli al-QurashT, with special pages, in 
which he had written 'Out of them, rab ; the master of the 
manifested virtues, and the brighten signs, and miraculous 
powers, the rising lights, and the frequent outpourings, and 
brighten secrets, the qutb of the wayfarers, and the sea of those 
who seek guidance, the sole of the time and age, the unique of 

306 Amani Mohammad El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya doctrine, 1997, p. 133. 


the time, sayyidi and my teacher, Shaykh al-QurashT b. al-Zyan 
b. al-Fageh Ali al-Bazai. His suckling was from sayyidi Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Basir, and his weaning at the hand of the grand qutb, 
sayyidi Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib (may Allah sanctify his 
secret). In the tarqia , he was an exemplary model, to the one 
who sincerely struggle. He was always entered the forty-day 
khalwa , and he may came to suffice, with the three morsels, as 
he was personally told me. He was of such frequent much 
meeting with al-Khadir, (peace be upon him), and in the ecstatic 
state he may say to him: 'Take from me the tariq'. His wird of la 
ilah ila Allah, There is no God, but Allah, was seventy- 
thousand, and five chapters of the Qur'an, in tahajud he may 
pray with the third of the Qur'an. And in many times, he may 
pray with al-subu , the time between the Maghrib and Isha , 
adding to others of awrad. He was a man of ahwal , in devotion, 
that the pen may not afford to account, nor could the mind 
comprehend. Towards the end of his life, he was overwhelmed 
by the shuhud ; fan a; and the takhlnqh , with the manners of his 
Shaykh sayyidi Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib (Allah be pleased 
with him). He never sits nor stands, only with the mentioning of 
his Shaykh . (May the mercy of Allah descends upon him), he 
told me that he absolutely had never seen wrong, to anyone who 

affiliated to sayyidi Shaykli , even if he sinned. He never seen 
any wrong on whoever came from al-Safil (The North, meant 
here the direction, where his Shaykh lives). I (Nur al-Da'im) 
said to him:' your saying is likening to the saying of Qais, when 

A hibu li huhaha al-Sudanu 

Hata hababtu saw ad al-keelab 

I love for its love the Sudan 

Till I love the darkness of the dogs 

Said: 'This the hal , of my tongue today' " 17 

Shaykli al-QurashT was one of the men of tasrif. Haj AbdAllah 
b. al-Hajj Abd al-Hafith al-Ahmadi al-Dafari, who was one of 
the men of knowledge and taste, had told me, said: 'I asked our 
Shaykli Ibrahim al-Rashid, at that time, he was at Mecca, about 
the maqam of Shaykli al-QurashT, (Allah be pleased with him), 
he said to me: 'He is the qntb of the North'. Many time I (Nur al- 
Da'im), out of listening to his speech, one ought to understand 

307 Abd al-Mahamoud Nur al-Da'im, Azahir al-Ryiad Ji Manaqib al-Arif 
bi'llah al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib . 1965, p.240. 

certainly his sultanate over the men of his time. He was a man 
of much silence, refraining from predictions and delusion. Had 
guided in the tariqa and the Qur'an ummamh, and all the 
masjids, in al-Halawiyyin and other areas, were attributed to 

The truthfulness and sincerity of the Shaykh, along with his 
magnetic personality and patience in inviting others unto Allah, 
proved to be a major cause in attracting scores of students. 
Thus, notable and great future leaders of the Sammaniyya had 
knocked at the door of his guidance, for the guide, is a sincere, 
true ascetic and true gnostic, have achieved the attainment, at 
the hand of the grand qutb , Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib. He 
initiated into the Sammaniyya all the sons of Nur al-Da'im b. 
Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr". He taught them the Quran and 
other Islamic sciences. Of those sons who were initiated by him: 
Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud (1845-1915), and Shaykh al-BashTr 
(1832-1919), Shaykh Abd al-Jabbar. Among students who had 
given guidance and ijdza , also was Sharif al-Khatim (d.1936), 
who later comes to establish the active branch of the tariqa at 
Karkog, Sinnar State south of Dender, among the students also 
was Shaykh al-Kogali, who established the branch of Arbeji, 

308 Ibid:242 


adding to that, Shaykh al-Tayyib abu-Sabah of al-Hilaliyya. 
And no doubt Imam al-Mahdi (1843-1885), the leader of the 
Mahdiyya revolution. The Imam considered one of the noted 
personalities, who authorized by the Shaykh al-Qurashi, and 
this happened after his (al-Mahdi) disagreement with 
Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im (1841-1907) his first Shaykh. 

Shaykh al-Qurashi sat on the carpet of the Sammaniyya tariqa 
in Sudan, for more than forty years, as a true guide and 
instructor, after the passing away of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib 
b. al-Bashlr". He had played a vital role in the emergence of the 
Mahdiya in Sudan, when he joined al-Mahdi and his disciples 
into the Sammaniyya, and hint to him that he is the waited 
Mahdi 309 . 

Under the guidance of his Shaykh and along the lines of the 
tariqa . Here again as in the Khalwa, Muhammad Ahmad 
distinguished himself by his rigorous spiritual exercises. This 

309 Abdr-Rhman. A. al-Shaykh al-Qurashi (1209 
A.H-1794-1297 A.H,-1880), unpublished partial MA thesis in modern 
history, University of Gezira, faculty of education- Hasaheisa, 2001, p64. 


was soon to earn him prestige among his colleagues, and a place 
of reverence in the wider society 3111 

Shaykli al-Qurashi had added a lot of awrad, ahzab , 
supplication and prayers, to the total collections of the 
Sammaniyya awrad. In addition of the role he played in the 
dissemination of the tariqa , so, Shaykli al-Qurashi before of 
becoming a Sufi tariqa man, he used to teach the Qur'an and its 
sciences, his knowledge enabled him to author scientific 
writings to the Sammaniyya . One of the most important of his 
authoring 'kitab al-Hikam ' followed the pattern of the kitab al- 
Hikam of his Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib. Also, of his noted 
authoring and well- known among his followers is salat al-Hal, 
which was believed to be authored while he in his forty-day 
retreat ’ 1 1 . 

311 Abdr-Rhman. A. M.Al.Yaas. al-Shaykh al-Qurashi (1209 
A.H-1794-1297 A.H,-1880), unpublished partial MA thesis in modem 
history, University of Gezira, faculty of education- Hasaheisa, 2001, p.97. 

348 ^^1 

In 1880 and at age of 86 his blessed soul has peacefully passed 
away to its Lord. And came to be buried in a tomb at Tayyiba. 



1 1 1 T 

Diagram 9 the most famous students of Shaykh al-QurashT 
1774- 1880 


Figure 5- 4 banner has written on it La Hah ila Allah 
Muhammad rasul Allah, al-Qurashi is the wall of Allah. 

Figure 5 -5 the tomb of Shaykh al-Qurashi w. al-Zayn (1774- 
1880), Gezira State. 

Shaykh Hassib al-Kubawi 

AzahTr al-Ryiad of Shaykh Abd al-Mahamoud affords a section 
to the biographies of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib students. 
Among those who mentioned in the pages of the book is 
Shaykh Hassib, it had been written: 'And one of them is the 


gnostic qutb of knowledge, elixir, my master Shaykh Hassib b. 
Imam al-Kubawi, the Moroccan, (may Allah be pleased with 
him), one of the greatest scholars, and imams of wisdom, 
unique at his own time. One of those who realized the 
attainment at his hands, and benefited from him, was the 
gnostic Shaykh Abu-EI-Hasan b. Shaykh Abd al-Karlm b .al-qutb 
Shaykh Muhammad al-Samman, (may Allah sanctify his secret). 
In al-Madina al-Munawra his sons, have no other sanad to 
their Sammaniyya tariqa, only through Shaykh Hasib 312 . 'Hasib 
b.lmam, al-Kubawi al-Maghribi, not originally a Sudanese, he 
lived in al.Damar and Sawkin, and died in Mecca. Among those 
he initiated into the Sammaniyya was Muhammed al-Hasan al- 
Samman. Hasib is said to have written extensively on 
tasawwuf, of what is attributed to him, is nozom Mukhtasqr 
Khalil, the arrangement of the mukhtasar of Khalil (d.776) 313 . 

312 Abd al-Mahamoud Nur al-Da'im, Azahlr al-Ryiad fi Manaqib al-Arif 
bi'llah al-Shaykh Ahmed 'al-Tayyib .1965, p.225. 

313 S, R, O'fahey. Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. The writings of 
Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden. The 
Netherland. 1994:119. 

Shaykh al-Amin w.Umm-Haqln 1776 -1854 

He is alfaqeh al-Amin b. Muhammad b. al-Amin b. Muhammad 
b. Farah b. Baskil al-Rubatabi. He was bom in the year 1776 at 
Halfayat al-Muluk. He memorized the Quran at the village of Abbas west of Sinnar under Shaykh w. al-Abbas. He studied 
the legal sciences at the city of al-Hilaliya. Moreover, he toured 
many of the places of ilm , which spread at the time of the Black 
Sultanate. Then he came and stayed at Islanj Island where he had 
established his masid and khalwai. These khalwai had been 
attracted a lot of the knowledge and ilm seekers. What was 
narrated is that he had never left his masid and khalwai for forty 
years. He used to send his students after memorizing the Quran 
to Masid w.Isa for further knowledge and ilm. He had shown 
great concern to the memorization of the Quran, therefore his 
khalwa included students from outside the Sudan mainly from 
Ethiopia, Eretria, Yemen and Libya. The notable students who 
meant his khalwa, and were one day part of his khalwa students 
were: the sons of Shaykh al-Tayyib (Shaykh Ibrahim al-Disuqi, 
Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud), the sons of Shaykh Ibrahim al- 
Kabashi, Shaykh al-Ubyid w.Badur, and Shaykh al-Muqabli, the 
grandfather of king of Libya al-Sanusi 314 . 

314 Mausuat Ahal al-Dhikrfi al -Sudan, 1 1 Volume , p:781 


Azahir al-Rayid which affords the life of Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib and his students the author Shaykh Abd al -Mahmoud has 
written about him, states: "And of them the famous wall Allah, 
the ascetic man of his own time, who established his building 
upon the piety of Allah at the first day, and who strove in the 
binqa till he attained the status of the grand of the qawm, the 
well-repute wall, and the stored treasure. The banner of guidance, 
who wrapped with garment of the wallya. The pious ascetic, 
devoted worshiper, the likening of the righteous salaf on saying 
and action. Whose weigh scaled upon the people of his own time 
sincere and deed, our shaykh al-Amin al-Faqeh, b. Muhammad 
b. al-Amin b. Muhammad b. Farah Baskil al-Rubatabi, whose 
fame had gone with his mother Um-Haqin. She is from the 
offsprings of the Samikyya king, one of the Gumuia kings. Fie 
(al-Amin) dignified of the two genealogies from his father and 
mother sides, whose people agreed upon his dignified status and 
sincerity in the path, and the abundant of his Good, and his 
walayia and Allah care. At his age he known nothing only his 
mawla, and depended on his matters on no one but He. He who 
reached on the zuhud the ending, and on tawkul the sufficient, his 
zahir on the learning of the Quran and his batin on the 

Witnessing of al-Malik al-Daiyan. The one whose the life nor its 
people had a place on him" 315 . 

Shaykli al-Amin initiated into the Sammaniyya under the qutb 
Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr". He had been known with 
asceticism and righteousness. He left behind many of sons and 
grandsons. He passed away in 1854 and buried at Islanj Island' 1 '’. 

315 Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im . Azahir al-Ryiad, p:251 
316 Mausuat Ahal al-Dhikrfi al-Sadan, 11 Volume, p: 781 

Chapter Six 

Shaykh Abd Allah al-Sabonabi 1788-1851 

The family of Shaykh Abd Allah al-Sabonabi(1851-1778), 
who was one of the earliest students, to take the Sufi pledge, 
from the qutb, Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib [1774-1824], has 
played a magnificent role, in the spread of Islam , and then 
the Sammaniyya's traditions, in the area south of Sinnar. 
The biography of Shaykh Abd al-Allah informs that, 'He is 
Shaykh Abd Allah, b.Fageh Abi-Garain, b.Fageh Ali, b. 
Suliman al-Sabonabi. He is Sammani in tariqa and Ameri in 
tribe. My master Shaykh Abd Allah was born, in the year 
1203 A.H, and died on Friday in 1268 H, at the age of 65. 
Shaykh Abd Allah was killed, with some of his relatives, and 
students, at the hand of the Dinka, at his own residence 
village, southern of Sinnar, which established at the era of 
the grandfather, Shaykh Suliman of whom the al-Sabonabi 
family becomes famous with. The incident of the 
assassination of the Shaykh , with its post- subsequent 
occurrence of kciramat, adding to the usage of the Sufi 
rhythm in dhikr, in the Islamic festivals and occasions, had 
been found an encourageable reasons, that attracted many 

of the Dinka and pagan tribes, who instinctively as an 
African, have a tendency, for dancing, and singing, to 
embrace Islam and then Sufism 317 . 

The name al-Sabonabi referred to the great grandfather 
Shaykh Suliman, whose lineage links with Imam al-Husayn, 
(may Allah be pleased with him). His family migrated from 
Egypt to Sudan, this occurred when he came to the black 
Sultanate, in which he found a ruler ( al-mek ), it was said that 
the ruler, had strong, built-body wrestler, stayed with him, and 
just his business, was to face the people who came, to present 
their needs. What were understood was that anybody wants 
his need to be fulfilled, firstly should come to wrestle with this 
strong man. So, if the person, comes to defeat the wrestler 
then, his request, going to be achieved. Such condition had left 
an impact, on the souls of the people of the area, and thus, to 
avoid the meeting with the man, they turned of no interest to 
present their requests. When the Shaykh submitted his own, to 
offer a land to live in, he found the condition still valid; so, he 

317 Abd al-Mahmud Nur al-Da'im. Azahir al-Ryiad fi Manaqib al-Arif bi'llah 
Al-Shaykh Ahmed ’al-Tayyib . 1965, p.231. 

agreed to wrestle the man. In turn Shaykh was very slim, so he 
refuged to Allah for help. By the strength of iman he defeated 
the man, and then granted the land south of Sinnar, to live 
there with his family and relatives. 318 

After many years, the sonad of the branch of the Sammaniyya 
at al-Sabonabi, comes to be linked directly with the grandsons 
of the founder of the tariqa, Shaykh Muhammad Abd al-Karlm 
al-Samman ( 1719 - 1775 ), that occurred when Shaykh 
Muhammad al-Sabonabi, has been granted the ijaza, from 
Shaykh Muhammad al-Hasan al-Samman, during his visit for 
giving the condolences, on the death of Shaykh Ahmad 
al.Sabonabi. So, Shaykh al-Hadi came to be the tariqa's khilafa, 
after his brother Shaykh Muhammad. According to Shaykh al- 
Tayyib Shaykh al-Hadi, the current khalifa (2013), Shaykh 
Muhammad with sincerity and determination, following the 
way of his forefathers, had contributed greatly, in the spread of 
tariq al-tasawwuf, among the people of the area and beyond. 


’ htm. 

The mountains of Ingessana was qa'an SofSafo, but by the 
efforts of Shaykh Muhammad, and Shaykh al-Hadi, the people 
of the area, flock to Islam , and as a result zawiyas and 
khdlwas, for the learning of the Qur'an, have been set up, 
spreading all over the Ingessana mountains. After that I 
(Shaykh al-Hadi), made frequent visits, to that places and 
consequently the tariqa's activity there were gained being 
revived. These visits have strong effect, and left behind great 
impact in the hearts of the murids, and friends, which at the 
end resulted in the embracing of those who, were far away of 
Islam , and then no trace for paganism was left, in that places. 
Shaykh al-Tayyib went on to add that, those people of the 
Ingessana have an annual visit, during the month of Raboial- 
awal ; they name it, yomal-Zariba. In this day new bia'a is done, 
for those who have the desire, as well the interest, to be 
initiated into the toriqa. The appointment of new mogadams, 
whose job, is to lead the murids and accompany them to the 
masid, is also done in this day 319 . Like the other branches of the 
Sammaniyya, the kiriqa here also consolidated its mission, and 
strengthen the Islamic creed through khalwo, which attracted 



many students from outside as well inside the Sudan. Students 
from Ingessana area, west and south Red Sea, from Ethiopia, 
Somali, Chad, Zaire and Eretria, were members part of the 
kholwa. Accompanied with the natives, who speak the local 
language of the Ingessana area, preachers paid visits, to several 
places there, and the result out of it, is the embracing of many 
people to Islam. In the area south of Sinnar. Approximately 
there is forty or fifty of zdwiyas spread on the banks of the Blue 
Nile, extended from Suki up to the East of Ruseris, and from 
Western bank, extended from Um-Shuka up to Ingessana, 
south of the province. The famous of kholwas are: 

1- The village of al-Khraba, near Ed-Damazain, runs by faki 
Muhammad Hashim. 

2- Jebal Kulgo runs by Shaykh al-Seddiq al-Bar. 

3- Jebal Bick in Ingessana runs by Shaykh Taha al-Zaki. 

All those Shuyukh who run these khalwas, one day were 
students at the tariqa's main khalwa. Among these there are 
some which have multiple functions, so in addition to the 
memorization of the Qur'an, which deemed the raison d'etre, 

other activities are also perform; example of these is the 
recitation of the Sammani ratib and parts of the 
remembrances, along with performing prayers in congregation. 
These centres of the al-Sabonabi's branch present as well 
commemorate the various religious festivals, throughout the 
year. The dhikr circles used to be held at night, accompanied 
with diverse methods and usage of tools such as drum, and 
tambourine, they used also the Khalwati dhikr, which 
attributed to Shaykh Mustafa al-Bakrl (1687-1784) 320 . 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Sabonabi 1898-1984 

In the history of the Sufi poetry in Sudan, the Sammaniyya and 
then the Sabonabi family had given accomplished influential 
poet, Shaykh Muhammad al-Sabonabi (1898-1984). Shaykh 
Muhammad with a distinct style went on, composing thousands 
of poems, ranging from the prophet's praising, to guidance and 
qawm madih. His poem is widely spread, throughout the Sudan, 
and being transmitted via the varied media, inside the country. 
In addition, he authored a book on theology and inheritance . 

320 Mausuat ahal al-Dhikr bi II ’Sudan , Khartoum, Vol-3, 2004:10092. 

321 Interview with Shaykh al-Hadi al-Sabonabi, al-Sabonabi village 23, 9, 


He (may Allah be pleased with him) was bom in 1898, at the 
village of Om-Tahir, south of Senga, where the masid of his 
father Shaykli Ahmad al-Sabonabi, is found. At this very same 
place he received the ilm, the Qur'an and guidance. As the 
custom was in the early life of the Sudanese child education, he 
was enrolled in the khalwa , and at the prime of his age 
memorized the Qur'an, and turned to the other religious 
sciences. Always in his visits to the Haramain used to sit with 
ulama". While some of the ulama" from Magrib al-Arabi , used 
to pay him the visit at al-Sabonabi, they used to discuss and 
debate the legal and Arabic language science, with spending 
longer periods of time with him’ . 

He took the Sufi Sammani bia'a under his father, before the age 
of twenty. On his father's death, he has been visited by Shaykh 
Muhammad al-Hasanal-Samman (1246-1266 A.H), the 

grandson of the founder of the Sammaniyya, who blessed his 
khalifat e, and came to complete its rites, as a Shaykh to the 
carpet of the turiqa . 

The Shaykli was of much travels to the holy lands, for 
performing Hajj and ummrah , it was related that he used to 

322 Mustafa al-Bakri al-Tayyib. Min khalwai W Sudan, khahva of Shaykh al- 
Sabunabi, International African University, 2010, p:28, 29. 


spend long periods there. The longing and the prophet's love 
had prevailed, and overwhelmed him, thus he determined to 
stay forever and neighboured that exalted place. For this 
however, he travelled with his relatives and some of his nmnds , 
no longer he returned after a while, for he saw the situation was 
too hard to some of the people who desired and longed to his 

Shaykh Muhammad had kept a continuous contact with his 
contemporary ulama" as well the Shuyukh , while some used to 
visit him at the masid , in this regard he maintained 
correspondence with some of them, Shaykh Muhammad al- 
Hasan al-Samman, Shaykh Qarib Allah (d. 1 936), and Shaykh 
Abd al-Baqf al-Mukashfy (1867-1960 ). 

From the early of his youth, he intoxicated with prophet's love; 
this has been transmitted through his wide-fame madih , which 
he started composing in his early youth. In this he imitated the 
well-noted madih poets mainly: Haj al-Mahi (1780-1870), Abu- 
Sharia, Qadura and so on. Afterwards he invented a new art, in 
which he traced the " Haqibah songs ", in each he has composed 
a separate dm an , the first known with the madih al-Tarr , here 
imitated the fonner madih's poets, and the other is the "Riq 

madih ', imitated the Haqiba hsongs, also he has diwan in 
preaching and guidance, following the known dubiyyit style, 
and finally he has diwan gone with qasids known with al- 

Safayin 323 . 

Muhammad al-Sabonabi's doctrine in guidance generally 
focused on the madih, which considered an influential means 
for people's guidance, and raising the religious awareness 
among them. However, to Shaykli Muhammad al-Sabonabi 
madih magnificent role in people's guidance, and hence their 
prophetic sirrah enlighten , and his shamail. In addition to the 
oriented guidance which directed to the followers and murids, 
in religious festivals and occasions. Many of the pagans from 
the south of the Blue Nile tribes had converted to Islam through 
him, and turned preachers and guides to Allah. 

In addition to the great role played by his sons in guidance and 
Allah's dawah. His daughter Liyla has a considerable played 
role also in guidance among the women, for she is in charge of 
the women khalwa, which lead the task of educating the women 
the Qur'an and its religious, legal sciences. She has been 
honoured by the president of the republic recently due to her 

323 Literary ships, types of Sufi songs perform collectively in procession. 


womanly pioneering role. Shaykli Muhammad passed away in 
1984, and left behind a great name in the world of the Sufi 


poetry in Sudan “ . 

Figure 6- Shaykli Muhammad al-Sabonabi (1898-1984), 

324 Ibid:30, 31 



Figure 6- 1 the tomb of Shaykh Muhammad al-Sabonabi 
(1898-1984), Sinnar State. 

Shaykh Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im 1841 - 1907 

Shaykh Muhammad Sharif hailed from a very illustrious family 
in Sudan. His biography tells that 'He is ustaz Muhammad 
Sharif b. Shaykh Nur al-Da’im b. Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib, the 
founder of the Sammaniyya tariqa in Sudan and Egypt. He was 


born at wad-Ramli, East of Um-Marrih Shaykh al-Tayyib in 
1841. He has been brought to the mosque of his grandfather 
Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib and there he memorized the Qur'an. 
The mosque at that time was very full with the ulama ", and the 
circles of sciences. He also memorized the books of hadith 
mainly: 1 -Muta'a Malik, 2-tlie authentic book of al-Bukhari, 3- 
the authentic book of Muslim, 4- Sunnan abu-Dawud, 5- 
Sunnan al-Nisai, 6- Sunnan Ibn-Majah, 1-Sunnan al-Tennithi, 
8- Mustadrk al-Hikam, 9- Musnad al-Firdous 325 . In addition he 
memorized the Mukhtasr of Khalil and studied its 
commentaries; moreover he memorized all of his grandfather's 
authoring books. He had been initiated by his father into the 
Sammaniyya before the age of nine. He was a source of pride 
and admiration to him. After he had gained of the sciences and 
knowledge at the mosque of his grandfather, which was the sole 
mosque initiated on the teaching of the varied sciences, he 
departed to Shaykh al-Qurashi at Tayyiba. Shaykh al-Qurashi 
honoured him, and expressed his view of his talent and 



325 Ahmed Abd Allah Sami. Al-Abbasi baith Nahdat al-Shair fi al-Sudan. 
Dar Lebnon for printing and publishing, Beruit, 1968, p: 36. 

326 Maiis‘ ’at al-Dhikr wa U'dhakirin, 641 . 


In his book " Imam al-Mahdi , the noted Sudanese historian 
Muhammad Sa'id al-Qaddal (d.2008) writes about him says: 
'And Shaykli Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im is the famous 
Sufi leader between Berber and Khartoum. He is the grandson 
of Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr", the Sammaniyya 
founder in Sudan, and the famous with "The man of Um- 
Marrih", of whom the news came to tell of his waliya and 
righteousness, and whose thousands of people, from different 
areas went to be initiated into his silk. Muhammad Ahmad 
went to his grandson at Um-Marrih. He ought to go to a man of 
sublime and highest status. The one who spent the time in 
traveling for knowledge, and the companionship of the 

Shaykh was not far from the affairs and Muslims issues, for he 
was a witness to the deteriorating status of the State of Islam , 
and in turn the progressing and advancing of the crusade State. 
He had strong loyalty to the khalifiate Islamic State, which in 
fact was one of the three Islamic States, beside the: 

- The Shahniyya Iranian Shiite. 

-Brno Islamic kingdom. 

327 See Mohammad Sa'id al-Qaddal. Imam al-Mahdi, 1992, p:52. 

1 ^^ 369 

He travelled to Astana to meet the Muslims' khalifa , sought the 
unity of those three States, which being targeted and threatened 
by the crusade State. At Astana he met the ulama" who on their 
part honoured and celebrated him, afterwards he met the 
Muslims' khalifa , the sultan Abd al-Hameed b Abd al-Majeed 
(1842-1918), for more than once. His ideas, had found a word 
of praising and acceptance, from the sultan. Whose admiration 
to al-ustaz , led him to be initiated into the Sammaniyya and 
being committed to its aw rad , the sultan previously was 
Shadhali through Shaykh Muhammad Abu-Ashamat of Syria. 

Shaykh Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im was among the 
abundant writers, and he was the most Sudanese of authoring 
books up to the end of the last century, his books had reached 
105, his authors had been mentioned at the books of Idah 
ll'maknoon dhil kashf ll'dhunoon of al-Baghdadi, part of these 
books had been printed in Egypt at his own expenses, they are: 






Al-Tawasul, had been printed by his grandson Shaykh al-Tayyib 
Shaykh Ali. 

The books and the manuscripts: 

- Sir al-wujud. 

Hukm Allah , al-Mahdi memorized it likewise his memorization 
to the holy Qur'an and ratibal-Sammdn. 

Al-Ibanah and Rihylat al-Asatanh etc. 

Shaykh Muhammad Sharif had visited Egypt, and there he 
resided at the Rawaq al-Sinnariyya, he toured the ulama" and 
obtained a lot of sciences. While he was there he demanded the 
Shaykhdom of al-Azhar offering him al-ustaziyyah , the 
professorship degree. A degree used to be awarded for the 
student after spending ten years inside the institute, but with the 
insistence, and because of the debate and discussion among 
them, the ulama ", accept the idea of his sitting for the 
examination of the professorship degree, and then he had been 
awarded the rank of the general chair of the people of dhikr and 
the deputy of the Ashraf in Egypt and Sudan . 

328 Hamad al-Hamadabi. Mohammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im , al-Fayid 
magazine, issue 4- 141 18 A.H, p: 35. 



The exams used to be held for each stage, committees form to 
carry out the exam. The study was encyclopaedic included all 
the Islamic sciences, with its all branches, added to it the 
Aristotle logic with its complex doctrine. 

Ustaz Muhammad Sharif had come to the exam's committee, 
sought the permission to sit for the higher degree certificate. 
While he was with the committee, the following dialogue had 
taken place, between him and some of itsmembers. Thus, one of 
the teachers asked him: 

'What do you want!?' and 'What brought you here? asked the 

'I came for the examination" answered he. 

Another member asked: 

'What certificate do you want to examine for?' asked he. 

'The higher one' answered Muhammad Sharif. 

The teacher asked: 

'How much did you spent here, at al-Azharl 

'Three years' answered he 

The teacher thought that he is joking or flattering 

He said to him; 'go there for the primary certificate' 

'But I want the higher certificate' protested the Shaykh 

So, one of the teachers sarcastically addressed him: 'O my son, 
you could come here after ten years, for the exam'. 

Ustaz Muhammad Sharif replied saying: 

'You want spending the period or answering the exam's 
questions' stressed he. 

The exam's committee members had gone bewildered, and 
taken by the lad's dare , and then they said to him: 

'Where are you from? 

'From the Sudan' said he, 

They had gone more surprised, so they decided to get rid of him 
by giving him, some questions, which might silence him, and 
challenge his illegitimate ambition as they thought, 

More surprisingly the exam's committee had gone totally 
puzzled, for the lad went with a sound perfect, and confidence, 
giving convincing answers, to their questions, so, they though 

he is smart cleaver boy, or maybe those who designed the exam 
might previously told him about the nature of the exam's 
questions, however, they went on giving different questions 
from that one, and different from what is designed for the 
students. The student unhesitant kept on providing correct and 
convincing answers. Thus, finally the committee and with this 
rare incident had decided to leave the matter to its chairman, 
who was one of the righteous, in his turn the man went to ask 
the lad himself, meanwhile he had got ascertained of the lad's 
sound and convincing answer. And with his insight saw the 
talent and the promising future which waiting him. Therefore, 
the chairman debated the student and asked him: 

'What is your name?' 

' Muhammad Sharif answered he. 

'What is your homeland’ asked the teacher 

'The Sudan' answered he 

Then the teacher said: 

'This is a little 'Hussinya' he meant it isn't study mission. 

Finally, Muhammad Sharif returned to Sudan, and stayed at the 
land of his grandfathers at Um-Marrih, and after a while al. 
Azhar Sharif had sent him, the highest ijaza. 

What is said repeatedly and successively that my master ustaz 
Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im, the grandson of my master 
Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-Bashlr" was one of those who 
transferred, or turning al-aian, the Lead into gold '" ? Fie is from 
amongst the great Sufi leaders of his era. He was the perfect 
example of his pious predecessors, in knowledge, piety, wisdom 
and understanding. All the great ulama" and awaliya of the time 
held him in great esteem. He was very kind and generous and 
always prepared to assist the servants of Allah. 

Shaykli Muhammad Sharif becomes very famous at Um- 
Marrih. He had murids from all over the county (Sudan), 
Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi had heard about him, and went 
and stayed with him, near the grave of his grandfather Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib. He had asked to be student to him, and the 
Shaykli responded to that request, this was in 1277 A.H, 

329 See Hasan Mohammad al-Fatih Qarib Allah, Yastinbunak , p: 164. 


corresponding to 1861. He spent seven years with his Shaykli 


His sons mainly Shaykh Ali and Shaykli Abd al-Majeed have 
established their own branches of the tariqa , Shaykh Ali with 
his sons and grandsons lived at the village of al-Feregab, west 
of Hasaheisa, while Shaykh Abd al-Majeed at Jabel Awliyya, 
on the white Nile. 

The family of Shaykh Muhammad Sharif has given the Arabic 
literature one of its accomplished poets, Shaykh Muhammad 
Said al-Abbasi (1880 -1950) better known 'al-Abbasi'. The fame 
of the poet exceeded his homeland, and became very famous in 
the Arabic literary circles, mainly in Egypt. 

Ustaz Muhammad Sharif considered the third khalifa , after the 
passing away of its founder in Sudan, Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib 
b. al-Bashlr", and after him, his offsprings became the heir of 
the tarlqa's khilafa at Um-Marrih, since that time, the current 
khalifa now (2014) is Shaykli Abdr-Rahim Shaykh Salih, he is 
a law graduate university student, and work as lawyer in 

330 Ahmed Abd Allah Sami. Al-Abbasi Bailh Nahdat al-Shair fi al-Sudan. 
Dar Lebnon for printing and publishing, Beirut, 1968, p: 36. 


Shaykh Muhammad Sharif had written poetry, but his ode "al- 
Raiya" may be comes to be one of the most famous one. In fact 
the ode had been composed on his student Imam Muhammad 
Ahmad al-Mahdi (d.1885); the following are parts of that long 

There came to me in that year 

On the Mountain of Sultan at the Sea Shore 

He was searching for the straight path at my hand 

So I took from him the oath of obedience. 

And he took to the path of guidance with sincerity. 

And kept the Zikr in secret and in open 

He put all his efforts in good works 

(For this) I praised his status ignorant of. . . . 

So many times he kept fasting, prayer, tahajjud and recitation of 
the Qur'an 

From fear of Allah his tears flow 

So many times did he pray Duha (prayer) with wudu of the 


So many times did he complete the Qur'an in the Witr (prayer) 

For this he drank from the source of the people of knowledge 

33 1 

For this he was loved by all other people"" 

In al-Kuus al-Mutra'a fi Manqib al-Sada ll'rba'a, his brother 
Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud (d. 1915) writes about him: 'Sliaykh 
Muhammad Sharif was a noble gentleman, a noted, 
accomplished scholar, of reverence, and of special status to the 
rulers, of eloquent tongue. Had the ability of getting out the 
gentle pleasant and subtle meaning, as well the noble artistic 
words. If he talks he attracted and drawn the hearts, he had 
grand worldly belongings, lands and generosity, his spiritual 
status varied according to the varied status of his companion, if 
he (the companion) deserves dignity he get dignified, and if he 
deserves other than that, he did but with indifference. He has 
authoring books, ranging from prose to poetry, which stands as 
a witness to his own perfection, of these books: al-Hidaiyya - 
al- Unwan- al-Adhkdrs At-Tayyibiyya- etc. He had countless 

331 Usman Muhammad Bugaje. A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE 
LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY SUDAN. A Thesis submitted in partial 
fulfdlment of Master Degree in African and Asian Studies, Institute of 
African and Asian Studies, University of Khartoum, December, 1981, p: 

students and khulafa ", his death was in Shaban 1325 AH- 1907, 
and buried in front of the grave of his father, at the tomb of his 
grandfather al-ustaz, at the age of 86, and has offsprings' . 

Figure 6 - Shaykli Muhammad Sharif Nur al-Da'im 1841-1907. 

Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im 1845- 1915 

332 See Abdal.Mahamoud Nur al-Da'im, al-Kuus al-Mutra'a fi Manqib al- 
Sada ll'rba'a , p; 134. 

Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud was bom in Um-Tereifi, small village 
north of Khartoum in (1845-1915). He grew up with his father, 
who took him, at the age of six, to his khalwa , to memorize the 
Qur'an. When he reached, the age of seven or eight, his father 
has passed away. Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud continued his way, 
to memorize the Qur'an, and this time at the hand of his brother 
Shaykli al-Sediq w.Nur al-Da'im. In the year 1269 his family 
which consisted of (his mother, and his two full brothers, Abd 
al-Nur and Abd al-Jabar), had moved to ard al-Safd , Tayyiba 
Shaykli al-QurashT more specifically", where the trusted and the 
great wall, Shaykli al-QurashT lives. Shaykli al- 
Qurashi had shown the utmost great respect, for this special 
family. Then he (Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud) has accompanied 
himfor many years, and under him came to the completion of 
the memorization of the Qur'an. 

Tracing the way of his forefathers, Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud 
had strove sincerely in the Sufi path of which he came to be 
initiated as a unique student in its fold. The story of his 
initiation into Sammainyya has been done as it was reported 
through isharaa from his grandfather the qutb Shaykli Ahmad 

Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud continued in the way of initiating 
murids , following the teachings of the Sammaniyya, this 
happened even after the demise of the Mahddyia state in 1898. 
He emerged calling openly for the teachings of the tariqa', as a 
result many followers had gathered around him, at this time, he 
has given the title of (The renewal of the Sammaniyya tariqa , in 
Sudan). He managed to reach the highest, and taking the lead in 
the Tayebiyyan branch, and preserves its leadership among the 
other branches of the tariqa in Sudan. Moreover he makes the 
Sammaniyya more loveable for people that because of the great 
numbers of authored books of, poems, award and supplications, 
which attracted the murids ’ to fold of the tariqa 333 . Shaykh Abd 
al-Mahmoud has occupied the highest status, among the sons of 
Shaykh al-Tayyib, and then won the admiration of his eldest 
brothers, to the point that Shaykh Muhammad Sharif Nur al- 
Da'im (1841-1907), when comes to encounter with a problem, 
used to say: 'O we wish Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud be with us'. 
Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud is a realized wall, who combined 
between inward and outward sciences, better known al-uztaz. 
He is one of the many significant and interesting figures, in the 
history of Sufism in Sudan in general, and in the Sammaniyya in 



particular, whose name and works, have been insufficiently 
recognized. He has great religious and scientific legacy, 
represented in great amount of books, which has written, as well 
to the great noble students that were initiated at his blessed 
hands 334 . Of the notable students Shaykli Ahmad b. Shaykh 
Muhammad Hasan al-Samman (the grandson of Shaykh 
Muhammad b.Abd al -Karim al-Samman al-Madani the Shaykh 
of the tariqd s, he was the khalifa after his father sayyidi 
Muhammad Hasan al-Samman)'. and of his noted students also, 
the perfect and the unique master Shaykh Qarlb Allah b. Shaykh 
Abi-Salih (1866-1936), also of the students Shaykli Ali 
b. Shaykli al-QurashT, on the White Nile his famous student 
Shaykli Muhammad Ahmad w.Kebeish, also Shaykli Mustafa 
al-Hafyan of Omdagarsi, and on Kordofan Shaykh Murkaz 
b, Shaykli Mudawi, and so many others" 3 . 

Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud tangible activity did not only found in 
the spread of the fariqa , nor in the guidance of the followers, 
but in writing. For he went in organizing his time, making part 
of his time for ibada devotion, other for meeting the murids , 




0 . 



and then the last part of the time, is devoting for reading and 
writing. In addition to his finn steadfast foot, in the Sufi path, he 
was a flowing river of knowledge that quenched the thirst of 
millions of aspirants. The impact and influence of Shaykh Abd 
al-Mahmoud, was very apparent in the intellectual level of the 
tariqa. In turn this made the situation easy for the spread of the 
tariqa , this because of the huge quantities of litanies, that he has 
written. Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, prolific writings represent 
the first exhaustive doctrinal corpus of the Sammaniyya. And 
here a person may come to touch the impact of his intellectual 
thought, upon those who took the tariqa from him. Apparently 
those students started to take his trace in writing, as well follow 
what he writes on the tariqa' s matters and issues. Because of his 
writings, the later generations, come to be acquainted with the 
story life of the earliest founders of the tariqa. With the 
recognition of researchers Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud 
successfully has provided the religious Sudanese, as well Arabic 
language library, with collections, that come later backing up, 
the students of Arabic literature, Sufism researchers, with 
amount of rich and valuable information. His writings covered 
diverse fields of knowledge range from fiqh , theology, 
grammar, sciences of Sufism , sirrah , poetry, to adab al- 

Rihilat 336 . In the introduction, to the book of Galaid al-Zahab 
wa Natag al-Ghurb, by Sliaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, the edition of 
(2011: 5) it has been written: 'To what the researchers have 
reached to, is that Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud is the strongest 
Sammani personality of the Sufi doctrine, in terms of the 
originality, renewal and scientific production. In addition to his 
appreciated contribution in the spread of the Sammaniyya, in all 
parts of the Sudan, through his students and his own sons' 
students, who form the majority of the affiliated to Tayebiyya 
Sammaniyya tariqa . Abd al-Mahmoud writings are very 
informative in tenns of history, development and the influence 
of the Sammaniyya tariqa in the Hijaz and the out-side it. This 
very clear in (K'uus Mutraa' and Azdhir al-Riyad), in which he 
makes rich biographies of the universal and local founders of 
the Sammaniyya tariqa. Abd al-Mahoud's Azdhir al-Riyad is 
the main source for the history of the nineteenth century Sudan. 
Here Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im could be considered as the 
main historian of the Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan ' . 

336 Mausuat cihcil al-Dhikr hi ll ’Sudan , Khartoum, Vol- 1(2004:264. 

33 7 Abd al-Mahmoud, Nur al-Da'im, Oalaid al-Zahab wa Natag al-Ourb 
338 Amani Mohammad El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan, 
unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of Khartoum, faculty of 
Economic and Social Studies, 1997, p:63. 

Azahir al-Ryiad is his comprehensive account of the life and 
work of Ahmad al-Tayyib, of his followers, and his Sammani- 
Bashlri tjariqa. He divides his work into the following parts: 

1-the childhood and education of Ahmad al-Tayyib, prefaced 
by the prognostications of Sufis ("Knowers") concerning his 
future prominence (pp.2-40) 

2 - Ahmad al-Tayyib's two pilgrimages, his initiation by the 
founder of the Sammaniyya, Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Karim al- 
Sammani , and his propagation of the order in Egypt (pp. 40-82) 

3 - the bases of the Sammaniyya: its relationship to other 
fanqas (pp.83-131) 

4- the karamat and sayings attributed to Ahmad al-Tayyib, 
and his writings (pp.132- 237) 

5-his sojourn in the Gezira, his return to Umm-Marrih, 
and his death (pp.238- 82) 

6-biographical notices of 107 of his disciples and sixteen 
of his sons (pp. 283- 372). Most of his works concern Sufism , 
but also wrote about hadith,fiqh , taw hid, and grammar 339 . 

One of the most famous book on the Sufis journey, outside the 
Sudan, is that one of Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im, 

339 Neil McHugh, Holymen of the Blue Nile: Making of Arab Islamic 
Community, 1993:214. 


the Sammaniyya qutb, known as al-Dura al-Thamena fi akhbar 
Macca wa al-Madiyna, this recorded and written journey is a 
marvelous and fantastic record, in the arts of Sufism journey, 
and considered a new addition. Shaykh comes to describe the 
beginning of the journey and the places that he came across, as 
well the personalities that he met, and parts of the Sufi 
outstanding buildings, the city of Sawakin and the (quarantine), 
passports, fees and so on. In addition to the arduous journey's 
road, and what were occurred of karamat , and then the fantastic 
description of Jeddah and Rabig, and some of Mecca and 
Medina outstanding buildings, moreover his meeting with 
Sammaniyya Shuyukh , and the rites of hajj , and what he had 
seen and witnessed, during the journey up to his return to Tabat, 
ending with his visit to his grandfather Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib at Um-Marrih- north of Omdurman 340 . 

The noted historian S.P. O'Fahey has described him as one of 
the major writers of the Nioltic Sudan, in his words: ‘Still 
unprecedented in the history of Sufi scholarship and Arabic 
literature. He left his mark on the history of Sammani thought. 
Through his scholarship, his travels and contacts, Abd al- 
Mahmud is one of the major writers of the Nioltic Sudan, in the 

340 Mausuat ahal al-Dhikr bi ll 'Sudan, Khartoum, Vol-1 (2004:264. 


late 19 th and early 20 th centuries’ 41 . While in the words of 
Ainani Muhammad El-Obeid (1997) he is one of the scholars 
of the Sammaniyya in Sudan, she writes: "Tabat centre of Abd 
al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im represents a continuation of the 
dualistic nature of Ahmad al-Tayyib al-Bashlr". Abd al- 
Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im, the founder of the centre is known to 
be one of the celebrated scholars of the Sammaniyya tariqa in 
Sudan. His writings are archetype of Sufi - orthodox formula. 
His poems are in perfect Arabic language. Thus, the influence 
of this centre in writing in perfect Arabic language is 
noticeable . It has also been seen by Professor S. O'Fahey, as a 
prolific writer, 'However, a grandson, Abd al-Mahamud Nur al- 
Da'im (d. 1915), was a prolific author, of whose works a 
substantial number have been published’ . While in the words 
of McHugh his writing is for the elite, 'Abd al-Mahmoud 

341 S, P, O'fahey, 1994:98, Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. The 
writings of Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden Netherland. 

342 Amani Mohammad El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan, 
unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of Khartoum, faculty of 
Economic and Social Studies, 1997, p.122. 

343 S, P O'fahey , 1994:98, Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. The 
writings of Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden Netherland. 

— 387 

intended audience is the educated Sudanese Sufis 344 . In his book, 
Madrast Ahmad b. Idris al-Maghrabi, wa Athraha fi ll'Sudan 
(1993), Yahiya Muhammad Ibrahim writes about him says: 
'And the emergence of Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im 
as an extension to his grandfather, who is the tarlqa's founder. 
Abd al-Mahmoud successfully managed to retreat its brightness 
and strength, and he enrich the Sufi Sammani thought with his 
authoring, poems, commentaries and travels" 4 "'. 

The pioneering role, led by Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud as a 
member of the Sufi movement in Sudan in general, and in the 
Sammaniyya tariqa in particular, could also be found in the 
words, of Kamal Babiker Abdr-Rhaman in his thesis, which 
carried the name al- Tariqah ll'Sammdniyya hfi ll'Sudan (1976), 
he states:' Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im is considered 
one of the prominent Sammaniyya Shuyukh, who has 
contributed on the development of the mystical thought, and left 
behind a clear thoughtful impact on taSawwuf in Sudan. And if 
Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib has vertically promoted or developed 

(McHugh: 1993:1 14). 

345 Yahiya Mohammad Ibrahim. Madrast Ahmed b. Idris Al-Maghrabi, wa 
Athraha fi ll'Sudan (1993), p.322. 


the Shift thought, indeed Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud horizontally 
has done it, till his thought has overwhelmed all the land'" 46 . 

In terms of revivalism and originality to the Sufi doctrine in 
Sudan in general and the Sammaniyya in particular, hedeemed 
one of the strongest personalities. Shaykh Abd al- Mahmoud 
has written around 82 scholarly books encompassing different 
fields of Islamic studies and the most significant of his works 
are the ones on Sufism. 

A- In the prophetic Sunnah : has written two works. 

B- Islamic creed: has written 4 books. 

C- Islamic fiqlr. has written 4 books. 

D- Commentaries and interpretation: Have 1 6 authors. 

E- Biographies- have devoted to the story life of the tariqa's 
pioneers, among the most, famous of these biographies, is his 
masterpiece Azahir al-Ryiad, the flowers of Orchards. 

F- In the prophetic prayers: he composed 4 works. 

G- In the prophetic Mawlid: there are 3 works. 

346 See Kamal Babiker Abdr-Rahman. al-Tariqah H'Sammaniyyah fi 
W Sudan , unpublished M.Sc. University of Khartoum, faculty of Arts, 
History Department, 1976. P.205. 


H- In the fiqh of the tanqa. he has written 5 works. 

I- In the literature of travelling, comes his famous work, al- 
Dura al-Thamena fi akhbar Macca wa al-Madina, counted by 
the scholars as well the researchers, as the first Sudanese Sufi 
endeavour, in the way of the art of travelling. 

J- In invocations and dua'cr. has written 6 works. 

K- In Arabic grammar: there are 3 works. 

L- In poetry, he has composed poems of suluk , prophetic 
madih, and poems on ma'alim the outstanding buildings. In the 
suluk poems, his Diwan , Shurb al-Kas fi Hanat al-Enas , also 
counted one of the best classical poems, written in Sudanese 
Sufism. There is no doubt that Sufis , scholars and students can 
still learn much from his writings, teachings and 
sayings. Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud has passed away, at Tabat in 
the year 1915 and his grave zahir yuzar, visible and visited. His 
son Shaykh al-bd al-Qadir al-Jaylli came to be his successor 347 . 

347 http :/ATabatal Mahmoud. corn/ar/modules/sinartsection/item.php 9 iteinid= 1 


Figure 6- the tomb of Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im 
1845 - 1915 . 

Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylli b. Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud 

Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jayili is renowned scholar and highly 
spiritual personality in Sammani tarlq. He is the son of Shaykh 

Abd al-Mahmoud, the qutb of the banqa . He was bom at the 
city of Tabat on 15 th of Rabi al-Thani 1295 A. H, corresponding 
19-3-1878, and was raised up under the care of his father al- 
ustaz Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, opened his eyes and ears, on 
hearing the recitation of the verses of the holy Qur'an. From the 
earliest years of his birth, his father had seen in him, the real 
and the sincere interest of learning the Qur'an, therefore he sent 
him, to his son- in law and his student, Shaykh Abd al -Majid b. 
Shaykh al-Tayyib b. al-Fageh Abd Allah b. Abi al-Hasan, at al- 
Khiran to memorize the Qur'an. With the narration of Amru Ibn 
Ala'a al-BaSri, and within two years, he completed the 
memorization of the holy book. While he was there found a 
good treatment from his teacher, who came to praise his 
common sense and seriousness. At the beginning of the year 
1306 H, corresponding 1888-1889 A.D, Shaykh Abd al-Qadir 
al-Jaylli had returned to Tabat, after his completion to the 
Qur'an’s memorization. On his home coming and under his 
father, the grand notable wall and scholar, Shaykh Abd al- 
Mahmoud, he started another phase of his education, for he 
studied the books of: al-Ajarumiyya- Oatr al-Nada , and began 
with him al-Fyat Ibn Malik , this on the field of syntax. At this 
stage his father instructed him, to memorize the mutton of the 

above mentioned books, and he (Shaykh Abd al-Malnnud) went 
on with their commentaries. Furthermore, under him read the 
books of al-Aslnnawiyyah- asrar al.plaqah to Abd al-Qadir al- 
Gerjani- talkhis al-balaqa of Imam al-Qezwini. With an opened 
clear mind and intellect, backed up with a true spirit of 
seriousness, which exhibited from his early childhood, he went 
to read under him, al-Eziyya, and al-Sefti, riysalt abi-Zaid al- 
Oerawani, in addition to the several of the major and minor 
books of the tafsir , hadith and tasawwuf. Hefnrther showed 
strong interest to knowledge, consequently he debated the idea, 
with his father, and hinted with travelling to Egypt, mainly to 
al-Azhar, where the ulama -scientific circles. His father 
declined, and pointed him, to Shaykh dX-lsldm Ahmad al- 
Badawi, in Omdunnan. Shaykh Abd al-Qadir had spent some 
years, with that notable scholar, took from the sea of his 
knowledge, and under him read several of the fundamental and 
the majors books, in Islamic studies. Found special care and 
treatment from the Shaykh, who used to tell his students, that 
Shaykh Abd al-Qadir had come filled with the sciences, but his 
likes is the folk of people, who stick to the causes. Shaykh al- 
Badawi in many more cases, assigned the task of issuing the 
fatwas to him. In turn, this had made of him a researcher, and 

created an intimate relationship with the books, as well the 
references. He studied with Shaykh al-Bdawi, the books of the 
Malikifiqlr. Muqadimat Ibn Rushd- Mudawant Sahanoon etc, 
and under him also studied the comparative fiqh, Bidaiat al- 
Mujtahid wa Nihait al-Muqtasid, to Ibn Rushd, and al-Majmuae 
fi Shark al-Muhadhb fi al-Madhab al -Shaft , to Imam al- 
Nawawi. And then the Shaykh asked him, to read more of the 
books of the Hanafi scholars. He also read for Imam al- 
Shawkani, and the muata'a of Imam Malik, and Tanwier al- 
Hawalik of Imam al-Syuti, in addition to al-Muntaja for al-Baji, 
he read fath al-Bari to Imam Ibn Hajar al-Aslaqani, and Orndat 
al-Qari fi Sharh Set hi hal -Bukhari, to Imam al-A'ini. Soon after 
he had finished, his study with the scholar Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Badawi, he returned to Tabat, and again companied his father 
Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, taking more from the sea of his 
knowledge. In 1910 he came to replace him, in teaching as well 
welcoming and debating the visiting scholars, in addition to his 
receiving and answering the fatwds , above these duties his care 
of the murids and fuqara affairs. In 1912 when Shaykh Abd al- 
Mahmoud has established the mosque, Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al- 
Jaylli, has been chosen to lead the prayers, this happened with 
the presence of the eldest sons of al-ustaz. 

Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylli no doubt has led a prophetic 
school, that graduate student armed with the taste- certificate, 
based on the experience taste. His righteous son al-Hafyan 
(1919-1973), the writer of the nadharts , has emphasized this 
fact as in the following dialogue: 

I debated him the idea, and shown my interest of receiving the 
ilm, in one of its fonnal and official institutes, this was in 1927, 
he said to me: 

'You will never find knowledge that you lack here' said he. 

'The institutes are organized and the study is so formal' 1 said 

'I won't let you feel, with confusion in your study with me' he 

I hide the real target (the certificate) "the masid is so full with 
the fuqara and students, and you may get busy of me because of 
them, or I may get busy of you, because of them' I stressed 

'They are part of your educational method, so keep patient with 
them, and you may gain courtesy and manners of their 
company, nothing of knowledge will pass you, until you learn it' 
emphasized he 

'There is no organized certificate in the informal study' I said 


And here went in unusual, but strong glance and said: 

'0 my son what the paper (certificate) serves you? Learn the 
science for Allah, and He will suffice you nothingness. The 
obtaining of the certificate did not indicate that he is alirn , 
maybe the certificate among the sons of this age a veil of the 
true authentic knowledge, and then whatsoever highest degree 
of the certificate reached, is no more than a paper. I look 
forward for you gaining al-Shihadaal-dhawqiya tasteful 
certificate, from the educational college, which joint by the 
prophetic school, in which the human graduates as insan al- 
rabcini , the divinely human, and you are here with me, in one of 
the prophetic education colleges, which intakes the ulama" and 
non-ulama", and the ulama" are invited to join and being 
graduated of, with more certainty, mainly the certificate-holders 
who suffice with the name of knowledge, and of the ulama" 
with their attire. O my son let me of the stating of the paper 
certificate, and find yourself a set of foot to gain a sublime 
noble certificate from the kiraam barara , honourable and 

348 See al-Hafyan. Al-Shaykh Abd al-Oadir al-Jayili Hiathu wa Atharhu, 
2007, p: 220-221. 


As a member of the Tayyibiyan house , which known as a 
poetic house. Shaykli Abd al-Qadir, was not an exception, for he 
wrote poetry, while his production in the field was very little, 
but with high quality. The Shaykli used to hold, daily scientific 
sessions, which started after A Sar prayer, and ends at the sunset. 
The seekers of knowledge, from different background and 
places, used to attend these sessions. Usually the sessions 
started, by reciting verses of the Qur'an, Shaykli used to sit on 
the floor towards the qihla , while the students sit in a wide 
semi-circle, in front of him. Then one of the students went on, 
reading the matan of a book intended to be delivered, and 
Shaykli on his part, engage in the commentaries and 

Of his noted students, the well-famous Sammani poet, Shaykli 
Muhammad Ahmad Nur al-Da'im, better known with 'al-Datir' 

on 13-7-1965, at the age of eighty, and after a fruitful life full 
with the great achievements, Shaykli Abd al-Qadir al-JayTli has 
passed away, and came to be buried at his own khalwa. He has 


Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan 1919- 1973 

Many years later, the Tayyibiyan house- has given the Islamic 
mysticism in general and Sufi movement in particular a noted 
prolific and gnostic writer with the name of al-Hafyan. In his 
lineage he went to Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud. His full name is 
Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud b. Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylli 

Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud b. Shaykh al-JayTli b. Shaykh Abd al- 
Mahmoud is a grandson of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al- 
BashTr. He was born in 1919 at the city of Tabat. When he was 
less than fifteen years old, and under Shaykh Fadal al-Mula b. 
Khalifa al-Jummui memorized the holy Qur'an, by the 
narrations of al-Duri and HafS. From his earlier childhood was 
known for his zeal for religious learning and his companionship 
to erudite scholars from Sudan and elsewhere. Al-Hafyan 350 , it 
was by this name that he was famously known. He was enrolled 
in Tabat scientific institute, which was establishment by his 
father, the scholar Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylli ini 937, at the 
age of eighteen became an active member with a regular 
attendance, at his father's scientific session, which used to be 


The bare -footed man 

— 399 

held every evening. He attained fiqh sciences, theology and 
hadith studies under his father. During his visit to Tabat, al- 
Hafyan had come to accompany the scholar Shaykh Abd Allah 
al-Khabir, who was one of Shaykh Abd al -Mahmoud student. 
Also he accompanied Shaykh al-Islam al-Badawi, the student of 
his grandfather in Islamic mysticism 351 . So, al-Hafyan took from 
him good knowledge in the science of usual and Islamic creed. 
He also sat with Shaykh Muhammad al-Hafiz al-Tijani al- 
Missri (1897-1978), in his visit to Tabat in the year of 1948, in 
which he authorized him, in his fiqh and hadith writings. 
Moreover, he was also authorized by the Shaykh of al-Azhar 
Muhammad Mustafa al-Maraghi (1881-1945), in what his 
Shaykh had authorized him. His father Shaykh al-Jaylli, had 
made him, a teacher at Tabat intermediate institute, which was 
established in 1949. Because of his vast knowledge he taught 
comparative fiqh , the uSulal-fiqh and the hadith in the very 
same institute. He remained in the institute up to 1966. He also 
used to teach at the masid of Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, during 
the lifetime of his father, and replaced him in the year 1959, and 
continued the task up to 1972. 




Like his ancestors al-Hafiyan, also comes, to make a remarkable 
great scientific contribution, through series of authoring and 
writings, in Sufism and suluk , as well Islamic sciences. He 
wrote more than seven volumes, on Islamic mysticism, entitle 
Nadharat ft al-TaSawwuf al-Islami , perspectives on Islamic 
mysticism. Of these volumes some were published, covered the 
areas of Sufism , tazkyiah, irshad , and suluk. Another significant 
contribution of al-Hafiyan is his masterpiece al-Wasyyia, the 
Bequest, which was translated into English more than a one 
time. The following is extract from al-Wasyyia (2012: 19): 

It is incumbent on you, my sons and devotees, to review your 
deeds, take stock of your words and examine them in the light of 
Truth. If they outweigh in His scale stick to them and if they 
under-weigh abandon them. This is because the combination of 
truthful deeds with eternal knowledge and good conduct is the 
apparent picture of the complete love of Allah and His 
Messenger. It is the ornament that remains and adorns when all 
others vanish and fade away. So wear my ornament in 
measured perfection, forever I will live with you. 

Al-Hafyan was one of those who possess the rhetoric, and sweet 
tongue, rare to be found in his peers, for his speech, is the 

speech of the gnostic, and the one who decodes the talasim of 


secrets. So, he authored so many varied books, its major 
thematic features is erfan 352 . 'ilmal-Nadhrat is the science of the 
opening, warid, ilm laduni , and gifted science. Among the most 
wide published and circulated books of al-Hafyan are the 

1. Kitab al-Wasyyia- the Bequest, with six editions, included 
English edition. 

2. E gal at al-fikr. 

3 .Shaykh Abd al-Oddir Ipiyyatiihu wa atharuhu. 

4. Nadharat ft al-TaSawuuf allslam i, perspectives onlslamic 
Mysticism- comes in nine volumes. Now in circulation are: 

a-Al-TaSawwuf al-Islami al-MuStalah wa al-Mqfhum- The 
Islamic mysticism the concept. 

b-Atwarr al-TaSawuuf al-Islami- The stages of Islamic 

c-Al-B'ia wa al-Sama'ae- The setting and sama'a. 
d- Tahara wa Salah- The purity and prayer. 

Under publication: 

1- a erafwa Mawasem 

3S2 Mausuat ahal al-Dhiki • bi ll 'Sudan , Khartoum, Vol-1, 2004:1385. 


2- Al-TaSawwuf al-Islam i al-Manhaj- The Islamic 
mysticism, the doctrine. 

3- Al-TaSawwuf al-Isalmi al-Ata- The Islamic mysticism, 
the contribution. 

4- Qadaiyya al-Erffan al-Sufi- The Islamic mysticism, the 
gnostic issues- 1 

5- Qadaiyya al-Erffan al-Sufi- The Islamic mysticism, the 
gnostic issues-2 353 

Add to the above of al-Hafiyan, scientific contribution to tanq, 
is the so many of the manuscripts, covered the areas of the 
tariqa's pioneers biographies,//^, hadith , and poems. C A great 
Sufi leader, an accomplished Maliki scholar, a poet and an 
erudite, spiritual writer, the late al-Shaykh Abd al-Mahmud al- 
Hafyan of Tabat (191971973), author of The Bequest (al- 
Wasiyya), left a great legacy of scholarly works in all fields of 
the traditional Islamic sciences. Yet although his contributions 
to the science of the sharia are outstanding, it is his 
contributions in the field of haqiqa that most highly rank him 
amongst the most distinguished of Sufi Muslims. The Wasiyya, 
The Bequest, is but an approximation of the deep yet elegantly 

353 Abd al.Mahamud Al.Hafyan. Nadharat fi al-TaSawwuf alislami , a- 
.TaSawwuf alislami al.mustalah wa al.mafhum, 2008, p.28. 


and lucidly stated meanings of the sharia and the haqiqa of 
Islam . It addresses not only the followers of the Sama'aniyya 
Order, or even all Muslims, but all men and women, young and 
old, who care to listen to the advice of a noble spirit and a great 
Sufi Muslim, whose influence transcends his time and place 1 ' 4 . 

In the following lines and during 1960s he has read the Muslims 
situation and has come with these prophesies: 

Never harmed the Islam ic daw ah in a history, other than what 
has descended of disasters and ordeals, as of what it being 
harmed and hurtled with such preachers who thought the 
harshness and hardship : is jealously to the right, and the 
hardship of heart and lack of courtesy or misconduct : is 
strength in the right, and the filthy of the tongue, and turpitude 
of morals: is malice to the enemies and rage to the infidels. The 
one recites the Qur'an but it will not reach beyond their 
throats" tciq hank", the one get out of religion, as the shara get 
out of the a geen. Despite this the faith to him, is what he said, 
and except this is innovation and misguidances. And the creed 
is what he believes, if you asked him about the bases of his 
aqeeda, exhibits and displays a disbelieving and utters hajarn. 
And we seek refuge of Allah from knowledge which does not 

354 .html. 


benefit, and from heart that does not entertain the fear (of 
Allah) 355 

Recently and in 2001 the University of al-Neleian has awarded 
him, the honoury doctorate of philosophy in Islamic culture, for 
his worthy distinct contribution, to the Islamic culture. Al- 
Hafiyan has passed away, in the year 1973 and buried in a tomb 
at Tabat, and came to be succeeded by his son, the current 
khalifa Shaykli al-Jaylli ( 1 948 ) . 

355 See Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan. al-Shaykh Abd al-Oadir al-Jiayli 
Hiathuwa Atharhu, p: 220. 

356 http:/Aabatal Mahmoud. com/ar/modules/sinartsection/itein.php 9 i tern id= 1 


Shaykh al-Jaylli Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan 1948- 

Sliaykh al-Jaylli is the current khalifa of the Sammaniyya 
branch of Tabat. He was bom in January 1948 at Tabat, into a 
family of knowledge. His biography tells that he is the son of 
Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan (1919-1973), b. Shaykh 
Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylli (1878-1965) whose lineage ends with 
Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib b. Shaykh al-BashTr (d. 1 824). His 
mother is syida al-Zahra bt. Shaykh al-Sammani b. Shaykh Abd 
al-Mahmoud b. Shaykh Nur al-Da'im. He was raised in a 
household that possessed a tradition and lineage of Islamic 
scholarship and righteousness. As of the other Shaykhs' sons, 
who see in the study and the memorization of the Qur'an, the 
guide to the right path, so, he (Shaykh al-Jayili) began, his 
educational life, in khalwa , and in 1955-1959, went to Tabat 
elementary school. While in the period between 1959 and 1963, 
he was enrolled as Student at Tabat intermediate school. And 
from Tabat he was directed to Hantob and that was in 1963- 
1967, where finished, his secondary education. And finally in 
his tertiary education, he joined the University of Khartoum, 
faculty of Arts (English and Arabic languages) in 1971. Shortly, 
after his graduation, and in his life carrier, Shaykh al-Jaylli went 
to work, in Sudan TV, at the news and translation section, from 


1971 up to 1973, this period had witnessed, his activity in 
presenting, many of religious programmas, like the Qabasat 
min Nonr, a show in which he had hosted many of the poets, 
writers, and the people of tasawwuf. In 1973 he had transferred 
to the religious and endowments ministry, but the passing away 
of his father in that very same year, had prevented him to 
continue. However, he comes to success him in the caliphate of 
the Sammaniyya, for he is accepted by his fathers, as well his 
brothers, and the murids , to lead this blessed procession, till 
this day (2004), and still he is standing to the tasks of the 
caliphate, representing in the Friday prayers, the two eids, the 
funeral prayers, the supervision of the Qur'an khalwa , dhikr 
circles, holding scientific learning sessions, on fiqh , tafsir , 
taw hid, and tasawwuf. As for the social tasks, also he used to 
make the marriage contract, and looking to the issues of 
divorce, and some other of the family issues. In addition to his 
supervising the religious festivals organized in the masid. The 
biggest known seasons of the tanqa are: 

1- The prophet birthday {Maw lid). 

2- Isra and Meraj 

3- Eid al-fiter. 

4- The adha eid. 

To Shaykh al-Jayili two published poetic diwans : 

1- Diwan riyad al-Muhbeen part one (printed in classical 

2- Diwan riyad al-Muhbeen part two (printed in colloquial 


language) . 

Now he is under the supervision of the publishing of the great 
scientific legacy, that left by his righteous predecessors. In 2005 
the University of the Holy Qur'an and science has awarded him 
the honouray doctorate in Islamic culture and daw ah. While the 
Sudanese presidency has awarded him the medal of science first 
class 358 . 

Finally, it could be said that the centre of Tabat which established 
by Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud represents the scholar nature of the 
Sammaiyya, for this reason all the khulafd" in the centre could be 
considered as scholars, as they have many writings"' . 

35: Mausuat ahal al-Dhikr bi U’Sudan, Khartoum, Vol.3 (2004:897) 

358 http:/ 


359 Amani Mohammad El.Obeid. The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan, 
unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of Khartoum, faculty 
ofEconomic and Social Studies, 1997, p.152. 



Figure 6- 2 masid of Shaykh abd al-Mahmoud w. Nur al-Da'im 
(1845- 1915), Gezira State. 

Shaykh Qarib Allah Shaykh Abu-Salih 1866 -1936 

The centre of Shaykh Qarib Allah who is one of the most 
influential grandsons of the qutb of the Sammaniyya Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-Bashir, is the largest urban Sammani 
centre. The tariqa's headquarter is located in Sudanese capital, 
more specifically Omdurman - w.Nubawi suburb. The full 
biography of grand wall Shaykh Qarib Allah informs that his 
father is Shaykh Abu-Salih (1795-1869) b. Shaykh Ahmad al- 


Tayyib, The Sammaniyya's founder in Sudan and Egypt . He 
was bom in 1866 at Um-Marrih the west. Shaykh QarTb Allah 
began his memorization of the holy Qur'an, at his father's 
khalwa, my master Shaykh Abu-Salih (1866) at Um-Marrih, 
while he came to complete its memorization at the khalwa of 
his uncle Shaykh Ahmad Abu-Grain at al-Jayili. He studied the 
Islamic and Arabic sciences in each of: Omdurman, Um- 
Marrih, al-Jyalli, Malit, al-Hijaz, Egypt. He settled in Um - 
Badir in northern Kordofan, where the Kababish tribe turned 
into followers of the Sammaniyya tiarTqa . He visited al-Hijaz, 
al-Sham, Jerusalem, Iraq, Egypt; as well many of the Sudanese 
cities and villages. He was at the third year of his age when his 
father had passed away; however, he went on the way of 
pursuing the science and practical Sufism 360 . At the hands of the 
famous scholars, inside and outside the Sudan, he studied the 
sciences of interpretation of the Qur'an, the sciences of the holy 
Qur'an, uSiil al-fiqh , syntax, rhetoric, literature, logic, debating, 
taw hid, taSawwuf hadith , and the sciences of the hadith'. Of 
the well-reputed scholars of whom he had received the different 



sciences were Shaykh Zakaria b. Abd Allah, Shaykh Abd al- 
Jabar, and Shaykh al -Islam Muhammad al-Badawi in 1 898 361 . 

Shaykli Qarlb Allah, blessed story life told that for the sake of 
Allah did not fear the blame of those who blame, the incident 
of the ruling palace of the Sudan British ruler, was a clear proof 
for this. The Shaykli was considered the first Sudanese, who 
stood against, that dominated ruler, fanned the flames of an 
Islamic revolution, from inside the palace of the English 
governor general in Sudan. Not only this, but he went to revive 
the religious pillars, at the same very place. Igniting as well 
mobilizing by that action all the presence of Muslims, and in 
turn this causing a predicament, to the colonizers and those in 
his court and loyalty, who fear people, and fear not Allah. And 
then (the Shaykli ) issued a leaflet, written in poetic style, 
inciting the enthusiasm of the Islamic ummah in general, and 
the Sudanese in particular, specifically against the disbelievers, 
and their loyalists, even from the men of religion or politics. 

It is worth mentioning that Shaikh Qarib Allah developed new 
trends in the way of performing the Sammani dhikr compared to 
that known in the founder's family. In Um-Marihi the disciples 

361 A1-Tayyib al-Balal Munir. Rashafat al-Mudam, unpublished PhD thesis 
Omdurman Islamic University, 201 1:10. 


used to stand in a circle while performing dhikr by using drums. 
This way of performing dhikr is known as well in the Qadiri 
tradition “.Shaikh Qarib Allah insisted on using perfect Arabic 
language in the centre madih (poems praising the prophet and/ 
or the Sammani Shaikhs), got rid of drums and stopped the 
disciples to stand in circle during the dhikr , as Shaikh Qarib 
Allah introduced standing in two opposing lines and the 
khulafd" or muqqadam stand in the centre of the line of the 
disciples. Besides his wide knowledge as an 'Alim and his 
insistence on going in accordance with Shari' a , Shaikh Qarib 
Allah was famous for kardma- making" 61 . 

Shaikh Qarib Allah concentrated on the instruction of the 
youth. Due to Shaikh Qarib Allah's good relations with people, 
the centre included different ethnic groups. Thus, because of the 
activities of the centre, it became a remarkable centre in 
Omdurman town. The urban character of the centre led to a 
specific composition of the tanqa . Most of the adherents of 
Shaikh Qarib Allah were either top State employee or business 
men. However, the centre keeps very cordial relations with the 

362 Amani Mohammad El-Obeid. The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan, 
unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of Khartoum, faculty of 
Economic and Social Studies, 1997, p. 1 58. 

363 1 bid :158. 

different factions of the society and with other Sufi turuq 
especially the Tijaniyya and the Khatmiyya 364 . 

The tolerance of Shaikli Qarib Allah and his centre, despite his 
scholarly and orthodox trends and his insistence on going on 
according to Shari' a , was shown in his tolerance towards the 
singers at his time. 

To my master Shaykli Qarib Allah several authors and books, 

1 -Rashafat al-Mudaam, it is poetic diwdn, with three editions. 

2- In had al-Saireen ila hadrat rab al-Alameen. 

3- Hiliyyat al-Salikeen. 

A-Al-Hadrah al-Ilahiyya. 

5- khwaS al-Asrar, mandhumat wa adaiyya wa istigathat. 

6- Gamae al.awrdd al-Oaribiyya al-Tayyibiyya al- 
Sammdniyyah, known as minhat al-juaad wa tuhfat al-ubaad , 
the six edition of this author underway. 

364 Ibid: 160. 


Besides his wide knowledge as an Alim and his insistence on 
going in accordance with Shari 'a. Shaikh Qarib Allah was 
famous for karama - making"'" 63 . 

Shaykh Qarib Allah has two sanads. The first is Sammani from 
his grandfather Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib via his Shaykh and 
cousin Shaykh Abd al-Mahamoud (1845-1915). The second 
from Shaykh Abu-Bakr al-Haddad, to Shaykh Mustafa al- 
Bakri 366 . For the great role of Shaykh Qarib Allah in Sufi path, 
the tariqa , is now known as Tariqah As- Sammdniyyah At- 
Tayibiyyah Al-Oaribiyyah . Shaykh Qarib Allah has initiated 
thousands of the students, and came to grant the ijaza to the 
several, among the most famous were: Shaykh Ibrahim 
Muhammad Suliman, famous with al-Shenqiti, Shaykh Zayn al- 
abdin and Shaykh Muhammad Tdm, his masid now (2015) in 
al-Remila, and runs by his son, khalifa Shaykh Mukaram. 

Shaykh Qarib Allah has passed away in the year of 1936, after a 
life full with great achievements, established his own branch of 

365 Amani El-Obeid, Mohammad.The Sammaniyya tariqa in the Sudan: 
Doctrine and Politics, unpublished M.Sc. in political Science, University of 
Khartoum. 1997, p:158. 

366 Hasanal-Fatih Qarib Allah. Al-Dur al-Dlni xva al-Gitimai wa al-Fikeri 
(irtarlqaAl-Sammdniyyah). Muhanad. M. A. Khartoum. 2004:1 19. 


the Sammaniyya, known as Sammaniyya Tayibiyya Qaribiyya. 
Successes by his righteous son, the wall and the knower of 
Allah, Shaykli Muhammad al-Fatih (1915-1986). He finally 
came to be buried at the premises of his masld , in a tomb, 
turned place of attraction to visitors. 

Figure 5- 14 Shaykh Qarib Allah Shaykh Abu-Salih 1 866 - 

Shaykh al-Fatih Shaykh QarTb Allah 1915- 1986 

He is Shaykh al-Fatih b. Shaykh QarTb Allah b. Shaykh Abu- 
Salihb b.Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib, bom in 1915, 
and passed away in 1986. He memorized the holy Qur'an by the 
narrations of abi-HafS and abi-Amar. Attained the international 
certificate from (the scientific Shaykhdom at Omdunnan) in the 
year 1927, it is a university certificate (Bachelor). In his travels 
and hajj , he performed the haj more than fifty times, with more 
than seventy umrah. He visited Jerusalem, Beirut, Baghdad, 
Syria, Cairo, Alexandria, Tanta, and Humithra (Where my 
master Shaykh Abu-Hasan el-Shadhali was buried). He also 
visited Britain (London, Oxford, and Edinburgh), as well many 
of the Sudanese villages and cities, calling for Allah, ordering 
for the good virtues and prohibited of the vices. On his 
contribution in the dawah and guidance, his blessed story life 
tells of the thousands of those who took the bia'a from him, in 
addition to the many who embraced Islam at his blessed hands. 
He acted as a chairman to the council of Omdunnan higher 
scientific institute (The current Holy Qur'an and Islamic Studies 
University). As well he was a member of Omdunnan Islamic 
university. Throughout his blessed khalifate he established and 
cared anumber of zawiays and mosques. 

In the Sufi path, he was initiated at the hand of his father 
Shaykli Qarlb Allah (1866-1915), in all of what has been 
authorized on; as well he had been given ijaza in ism Allahu al- 
Adham, the grand name of Allah, from Shaykh Muhammad al- 
Mujtba in the year 1942. Before many years of his passing 
away, Shaykh al-Fatih, has chosen his son- Hasan- to be his 
successor, deputed him in occasions, as well receiving people, 
and looking to their daily needs. To my master Shaykli 
Muhammad al-Fatih many books, as well many poems, in the 
praising of the prophet, and Sufism. Several of notable students 
who took the pledge, at his hand came to be authorized as 
Shuyukh in the Sammaniyya . 'He worked actively to 
propagate the Sammaniyya, among those to whom he gave the 

o r o 

ijaza, was the Nigerian scholar, Nasiru Kabara . And among 
the famous students also, Shaykh Jar al-Nabi (d.2013), Shaykh 
Babikr Ahmed, Shaykli Babikir was born in Sudan. 1 ' 1 He 
studied Islamic Sciences in Sudan under Shaykli Fatih QarTb 
Allah son of Sayyidi Shaykh Qarlb Allah son of Shaykli Ahmad 

367 Hasanal-Fatih QarTb Allah. Al-Dur al-Dini wa al-Gitimai wa al-Fikeri ( 
WtariqaAl-Sammdniyyah). Muhanad. M. A. Khartoum. 2004, p.122. 

368 ' S, P, O'fahey, S, R. 1994, p.lll. Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. 
The writings of Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden. 

At-Tayyib. He has certified Ijazah in various Islamic disciplines 
including Maliki Fiqh, Hadith , Aqeedah , Dawah, Tajweed , and 
Tasawwuf 369 Shaykli resides in London. And of his famous 
students also Shaykh Omer Bashaykh who has masld in Port 
Sudan. Another branch of the Sammaniyya Qaribiyya, that 
related to Shaykli Muhammad al -Fatih Qarib Allah, is that 
one which led by Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib Shaykh al-Fatih , a 
little bit north of the masid of Shaykli Qarib Allah (d. 1936), the 
grandfather of the Shaykh . Shaykli al-Tayyib was bom in 1941, 
and received his earlier education at Omdurman- w.Nubawi- 
and then went in his tertiary education to Omdurman Islamic 
University, faculty of Arts. He was awarded PhD from the 
University of Edinburgh in Arabic language. He worked as a 
lecturer at the Holy Qur'an University, and became a professor 
in Arabic language. He has been authorized as Shaykh in 
Sammaniyya and given the ijaza of Shaykhdom from his father, 
the gnostic Shaykli Muhammad al-Fatih Qarib Allah 
(d.1986). Shaykli al-Tayyib has been elected in many of the 
educational, religious, social and political bodies during the last 
two decades. 



The notable, Sudanese Sufi magazine, al-qawm , the issue of 
1987, had interviewed Sliaykh Muhammad Naser Kabra (1912- 
1996), one of the most famous students of Shaykli al -Fatih, and 
to whom the widespread of the Sammaniyya in Nigeria is 
attributed. 'Since I have learnt, so not bad of the sciences, and 
started doing what Sufis do, I no longer lead people in prayer, 
searching for the men, until I found our Shaykh QarTb Allah, so 
I began sending him letters, but I have found that he had passed 
away, he received the letter but there was no reply came, as the 
Moroccan merchant, who originally was Shenqiti, who 
merchandised between Sudan and Nigeria had told me. So, I 
kept searching, until I was told of the khalifa of khulafa , at 
Madinaal-Munawra , say id Abu.el-Hasan al-Samman, the 
grandson of our Shaykh qutb al-Samman, for he (praised be to 
Allah), had received the letter, through Kano emir of haj Abd 
Allah Bairo, and he replied with a letter that brought me joy and 
delight, he stated ' From today, don't write to us, about the 
tariqa, but to our khalifa , at Omdunnan city, our Shaykh al- 
Fatih. Eventually, and the moment that I received al-Samman's 
letter, I sent a letter to our mawala Shaykli al-Fatih, and in a 
very short time, a respected reply with a full response came 
from him. He has written to me the general ijaza, and the 

caliphate of the Sammaniyya Qadiriyya, and since (1355 A.H), 
we continued the efforts with the Sammaniyya Qadiriyya fariqa 
up today, and by the baraka of our appointed Shaykh we 
opened all Nigeria, western, eastern, northern and central, for 
today (by the grace of Allah), we are counted with the millions 
of the 100 million Nigerian, 80 million are Muslims. Before the 
Qadiriyya renaissance in Nigeria, there were many Sufi fariqas , 
the Tijaniya was the most widespread fariqa at that time, but 
now, and (praise be to Allah), we have 30 million Sammany in 
fariqa , at all parts of Nigeria'. In this connection The ties 
between the Sammani -Qaribi branch of Nigeria with the main 
branch at w.Nubawi is a living and strongest one, for the 
khulafa" of the Qaribi branch used to pay visit to their murids in 
that a African country. It was initiated by the late Prof Shaykh 
Hasan al-Fatih Qarib Allah (1932-2005). While the Sammani 
Nigerian murids are also in frequent and regular visit to the seat 
of the fariqa at Omdurman, especially during the varied 
religious festivals. I was a witness (2003) to one of their visits, 
and I listened to them chanting with Nigerian and Arabic 
language, Sufi songs in the praise of the prophet and the 
Shuyukh of the fariqa. 

Shaykh al-Fatih has written numerous books on Sufism and 
suluk, the names of a few famous books written by him have 
been listed below: 

1- A-Manhaj IV Sufi fi ll'tarbiyah wa ll'dawah il a Allah. 

2- A-Nafaha H'Sammdniyya h. 

3- Al- Jihad Il'akhar. 

4- Al-Mukhtarat an ll'qutof ll'daniyat. 

5- Al -Dh ikr a l -Jam ai aljah ri . 

6- Al-Tawasul fi dar all'baqd. 

1-Suhub Il'mawahib ( poetic diwan). 

Shaykh al-Fatih has passed away in the year of 1986, and came 
to be buried, near his mosque, in w.Nubawi, in a T5mb turned 
a visiting place to people. His son Shaykh Hasan (1933-2005), 
comes to be his successor 370 

370 See Majalatal-Oawm, Khatoum, 1987, p.41. 


Figure 5- 15 Shaykh al-Fatih Shaykh Qanb Allah 1915- 1986 


Shaykh Hasan Shaykh al-Fatih 1933- 2005 

Shaykh Hasan Shaykh al-Fatih (1933- 2005), was born into a 
renowned Sudanese scholarly family, well-known for their 
deep-rooted attachment to learning and teaching religious 
knowledge. He was born in Omdurman. Attained his early 
education at the khalwa of his grandfather Shaykh QarTb Allah 
(1866-1936), under al-faklal-Tayyib al-Zayn, and also under 
Shaykh Hasan Muhammad Sa'id, of the scientific institute of 
Omdurman khalwa. He memorized the Qur'an, by the 
narrations of abi-HafS and abi-Amru al-Duri. Then he went to 
the scientific institute of Omdurman. In his tertiary education, 
Shaykh Hasan had joined the Islamic university of Omdurman, 
then Cairo University of Khartoum, in which he obtained his 
bachelor degrees. He was awarded his MA from the post- 
graduate college, university of Khartoum in 1965, entitle al- 
TaSawwuf al-lsalmi fi al-Sudan ila Nihaiyat Dawlat al-Funj, 
Islamic mysticism in Sudan towards the end of Funj State. He 
was seconded to the university of Edinburgh, and obtained his 
PhD entitle (The influence of al-Ghazali upon Islamic 

jurisprudence and philosophy) in the year 1970 371 . 'Head of the 
Sammaniyya Qaribiyya, and formerly Vice-Chancellor of 
Omdurman Islamic University. Dr Qarib Allah has held 
numerous academic and other positions 372 '. Shaykh Hasanal- 
Fatih was one of the most recent brilliant stars of the 
Sammaniyya. He was an outstanding scholar of eminence and 
repute, wrote and authored more than hundred books, on 
Sufism ; Islamic studies, Arabic language, and philosophy are 
attributed to him. He spoke many languages, Arabic, English 
Germany, French, Swahili, Latin, Aramaic, and Hebrew. He had 
worked as a lecturer at the Universities of Islamic university of 
Omdurman, that in 1965, and Cairo university of Khartoum. He 
was promoted as assistant professor in 1975 and associate 
professor in 1979. He assumed the deanship of faculty of Arts, 
Islamic university of Omdurman. And dean of faculty of shari'a 
and social sciences. Also he was appointed head department of 
philosophy and sociology, and head department of uSul al-Din, 
at the same very university. He was appointed chairman to the 
scientific institute of Omdurman (The current Holy Qur'an and 


3/2 S, P, O'fahey, S, R. 1994, p 112. Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. 
The writings of Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden. 


Islamic sciences). As well he was chosen a member of many of 
higher education institutes in Sudan and outside 373 . Shaykh 
Hasan was an active regular participant, in local and 
international conferences and forums. He has supervised as 
well shared in the evaluation of more than hundred MAs and 
PHDs, in different universities. He had also chosen as a 
member in the academy of Arabic language in Egypt, Sudan 
and Syria. In addition he was a member to the unions of the 
Arabic Islamic and African and international universities. 
Moreover, he was chosen a member of the Islamic madhib. He 
has been honoured by both the government of Egypt and 
Sudan. Andin the year 1993 he was a guest to the American 

Shaykh Hasan has been authorized as a Shaykh , in 
Sammaniyya tariqa in the year 1970. And became khalifa to 
his father Shaykh al-Fatih in the year 1986. 'QarTb Allah is a 
scholar who has taught in various universities and was for 
several years the chancellor (president) of the Omdurman 
Islamic University. He has also written and published over 100 
books, following a pattern established by his spiritual 

373 http://www. php?option=com. 


lineage 374 . 'The literary tradition within the descendants of 
Ahmad al-Tayyib has flourished ever since at the various 
S am m an i centres in Omdurman, Tabat and elsewhere. The 
Qarybiyya branch in Omdurman, whose present (1993) Shaykh 
is Dr. Hasan Muhammad al-Fatih Qarib Allah, has been 
particularly effective in adapting the Sammaniyya tradition to a 
modern urban context 375 . Shaykh Hasan has great fame, as a 
Sammaniyya Shaykh whom made contributions, to the Sufi 
movement, in Sudan and added to the legacy built by his 
father, and grandfather before him. 'But the Shaykhdom of 
professor Hasan al-Fatih, based on Sufi tariqa, has transferred 
the Sufi tariq, as a way for the common, to the choice or 
selection of cultured class, educated elite as well wealthy 
class. 376 

Shaykh Hasan had devoted to reaching out to the youth, and 
bringing them the true message of Islam and Sufism, wherever 

374 Ibid 

375 S, P, O'fahey, S, R. Arabic Literature of Africa. Volume 1. The writings 
of Eastern Sudanic Africa to C.1900. E.J. Brill, Leiden. Netherlands 994, p 

3 Attp:// = &esrc=s&source=web&cd 



they may be. He utilized his pen and tongue to defend Islam 
and taSowwuf, authored, delivered lectures, and turned an 
active as well regular participant, with youth in the Sudanese 
universities and mosques, used to share Sufi students, their 
programmes on universities. To his view the Sufi should do 
good for people and follow the way of the Prophet 
Muhammad. He should be tolerant with his family, neighbours 
and all others in the world. Sayid Muhammad Uthman al- 
Mirghani (b.1930), said about him 'we record to him, his 
apparent role in Allah's dawah, for he spent his age, in the 
service of science, Islam and Muslims 377 '. While Bashir al- 
Bakrl (2005:12) praised him said, 'His presence was the 
national safety for our generation, and the one after. I have 
never seen traditionalism and modernism agreed together, as I 
saw on the face of the scholar, the wall by the permission of 
Allah, yes, he was the night monk, a knight of daytime 378 . 'The 
late Shaykh Hasan has two hats, toqiya umm-qorin, and toiqiya 
umm-qalam. As for the horn-hat, it is the toSowwuf hat (the 

377 SeeTariq el-Sharlf. Majalat Fada'at. Issue No 15, published by Sudan 
National Corporation of Radio and TV. Khartoum, 2005, p.28- 37. 

378 Ibid: 37. 

carpet). And as for the pen- hat, it is his recognizable, known, 
tangible academic striving. We want to take out of his works, 
and life a model as well an example, that because the 
generations, raise and bring up by these lessons. I will 
summarize the life of the late in the virtues: firstly he was 
loveable to those who around, and for the others. Secondly, he 
attained spiritual wiSal and itisal. Thirdly, what he has gained 
of rational and experimental knowledge. Fourth, the carpet has 
provided the people of tasawwuf, spiritual, social, and 
educational connection, transferred into a throat, in the 
society, through which they managed to spread guidance, 
reform, righteousness and education. And this grants the 
people of the carpets, with great privilege, of what they have 
gained and realized. Our lost has inherited from his father, this 
doctrine, but he went on to develop, through his own 
techniques and means, which in turned made this grand 
school, more successful and a source of polarization to youth, 
both men and women. Fifth, this a achievement and work, did 
not prevented him, of the social activity. He was an example of 
the social man, you find him in condolence, and mourn, visit, 
receive and see off, meet the whole, with the known Sudanese 

deep and profound sociality. Sixth, he maintained an 
international foreign relation with people of tariq, and others, 
in what concern the spiritual as well academic research 
relations 379 '. 'Al-Hasan was an accurate researcher, and a 
writer that sought preference and excellence 380 . For many 
years, and before his passing away, Shaykh had regular 
lectures, used to be held on the masid of the tanqa at 
w.Nubawi, on the evening of Friday and Tuesday. During that 
years he had finished with commentaries and comments, many 
of taSawwuf books, mainly Ihya ulum al-Deen, of the noted 
scholar Imam al-Ghazali. 

Shaykh Hasan books exceeded 110, encompassing several 
branches of knowledge. Apart from these contributions, he had 
written annotations and commentaries on books pertaining to 
various branches of learning. 

379 Recorded video speech by Saddiq al-Mahdi, 2006, 

30 Recorded video speech by Mansour Khali d, 2006. 

I am so grateful to Shaykh MohammadShaykh Hasan al-Fatih the current 
khalifa of the tar Jqa at W.Nubawi, who generously provided me with rare 
materials that help a lot in tackling this area of the research. 


1 - Isharat aU'gamal wa ll'bdae fi ll'falsafa ll'Safiyyah. 

2- Al'lam al-Tanqah al-Qadiriyyah ( wa dawrahum fi ll'fikr wa 
ll'dawah ilaAllah). 

3- Al-Aman fi al-Mafhum H'Sufi. 

4 - ll'insan bain ll'madiyat wa ll'ruhyat. 

5- Ba'ith ll'nahda al-ruhiyah fi Il'Islam (AShaykh Muhammad 
Abdal. Karimal-Samman ). 

6- Barahin Il'mawalJd wa U'dhikriyat al-huliyah Il'Salihin. 

7 - Bain athar al-khamr al-hisi wa al-manawi. 

8- AII'tabaruk bi Il'Salihin wa atharhum. 

9- AI-TaSawwuffi Il'Sudan Ha nihaiyat dawlat ll'Funj. 

10 - All'tawasul bi ll'nbiya wa Il'Salihin. 

11 -Jabal ll'kishir sayidi Ashaykh Ahmad Attayib bn al-Bashlr”. 

12 -Jareer madinat al-Shair. 

13 -Dur al-Tanqah al-Qadiriyyah fi ll'fikr wa dawah ilaAllah. 
14-Dur al-Tanqah al-Naqshbandiyyah fi ll'fikr wa dawah ilaAllah. 

15-AI-Riyadah fi ll'mafhum al-Sufi. 

16- AI-Sudan dor ll'hijaratin ll'wala wa ll'thoniyyah U'Sahabd. 

17- AShoykh Qarib Allah wo dawrhufi llfikr wo ll'dowoh ila Allah. 

18- AShaykh wa ll'masTd fi al-mafhum II' Sufi. 

19- ASufiyyahfi midon ll'jihod. 

20- Falsafdt ll'shathind U'Sufiyyah. 

21- Falsafdt wuhdat ll'wjud. 

22- Al-mafhum ll'romzi ll'khamr ind U'Sufiyyah. 

23- yastanhiunak 381 . 

Beside guidance, and until his passing away writing remained 
his most cherished activity. 'Professor Shaykh Hasan al-Fatih 
Qarib Allah skillfully joined between the personal religiosity, as 
well academic studies of religion, for you never touch in his 
writings and his educational behaviour, any contradiction, for 
he established a solid bridge between the shori'o and the 
hoqiqo, and between the Reason and the heart. His academic 
promotion goes along side, his promotion in Sufism stations. 
So, when he attained the professorship, in turn he sat at the 

381 Hasan al-Fatih. Al-Dur al-Fikeri ll’Tariqah ll’Sammaniyyah. 2004, p: 

top of Sammaniyya Tayebiyya Qaribiyya tariqa. The Sufism 
institution in which he had grown up, never prevent him of 
evolution, in the academic institutions, until he attained the 
chair of the vice- chancellor of Omdurman Islamic university 382 . 

However, and after a life full with achievements and great 
noble deeds, Shaykh has passed away in June 2005. And came 
to be succeeded by his son Shaykh Muhammad. 

jgjwjjgjjJI aia^oJI r oLotll 

) qJLoJI qjjjjJI QjjjjJI 

ttxuxnJI UJJ 13 - f - ■ , r ; . • yj - ywitubecom. 

Figure 5-16 professor Shaykh Hasan al-Fatih Qarib Allah 1932-2005. 

382 SeeTariq el-Sharif Majalat Fada’at. Issue No 15, published by Sudan 
national corporation of Radio and TV. Khartoum, 2005, p.28- 37. 


Figure 5 -17 masid of Shaykh Qarib Allah Shaykh Abu- 
Salihl866 -1936, Khartoum State. 

Shaykh Zayn al-Abidin Shaykh al-Hasan 1903- 1996 

Shaykh Zayn al-Abidin is one of the most famous students of 
Shaykh Qarib Allah (1866-1936). His full name is Shaykh 
Zayn al-Abidin Shaykh al-Hasan b. Shaykh Abd-Rahman; he is 
a grandson of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib -Bashir. Born in 
Shambat, in 1323 H. Learnt the Qur'an at the khalwa of al-fakl 
Babikr, and then at the khalwa of his cousin Shaykh Abd al- 
Qadir b. Shaykh Abdr-Rahman at al-Jaylli. He took the Suji 
pledge at the hand of Shaykh Qarib Allah (1866-1936), and has 
granted the ijdza as S a mmani Shaykh in 1943, this before of his 


completion to his study at Omdurman Scientific Institute. 
Shaykli Zayn al-Abidin is an example of the humble, good 
manner person. Shaykli Zayn al-Abdin had established his own 
masid at Shambat. 

He (peace be upon him) was humble, smiley, with good 
manners of a good company, noble, treat his visitors with their 
diverse classes, the treatment of the compassionate merciful 
father. Thus, his iqbal and care of them, didn't take him away of 
his devotion, aw rad , and adhkr , in which he thoroughly gave 
his entire life, and spent his age, and for its sake he shunned 
away of the dunyia , despite its iqba towards him, at the 
beginning of his youth' . 

And after a life full of great deeds for the service of Islam and 
taSawwuf, he passed away in 1996, and buried in a tomb at his 
masid in Shambat, which is directed now (2013) by his son the 
khalifa Shaykli Abd al-Wahab al-Shar'ani 384 . 

33 Hasan, al-Fatih Qarib Allah. Shaykh Oarib Allah wa Dawrhufi ll'Dawuh 
i la Allah. 

384 http://www. sudanway. sd/charact_zain%20al3abdin%20alhsan.htm. 


Figure 5- 18 Shaykh Zayn al- Abidin Shaykh al- Hasan 1 905— 

Shaykh al-Tayyib Shaykh al-BashTr Shaykh Abdr-Rhman 

He is Shaykh al-Tayyib b. Shaykh al-BashTr (1661-1932) b. 
Abdr-Rlnnan b. al-BashTr (from his father's side, he 
met the al-Ghawth Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib, in al-BashTr, as 


the chains of the genealogy to al-Abbas, the cousin of the best 
of mankind. While from his mother's side, he was the son of 
Fatima al-Batool, the daughter of Shaykh Ahmad b.Abu- 
Salihb .sayyidi Ahmad al-Tayyib).He studied the Qur'an under 
his father Shaykh al-Bashir, accompanied him, at his rest and 
travels, till he memorized the Qur'an, and that before he reached 
the seven of his age. Later he had come to re-read the Qur'an, 
with sayyidi al-Fadul at wad-Nuaman. Then he went to 
Omdunnan, to pursue his education, and from Omdunnan 
scientific institute he obtained the international certificate. By 
the virtue of the vast knowledge, and with masterful ability of 
jurisprudence, he had been chosen to be the mufti of the Sudan 
republic. But his grandfather Shaykh Qarlb Allah (1866-1936), 
said to him: 'Your father wouldn't leam you, for a job, but for 
Muslims' sons' guidance', as a result Shaykh declined to assume 
the post. The time passed by, and through ishdra from her father 
he came to marry sayidam Fatima bt. Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, 
who bore him his eldest sons, Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, his 
first khalifa (d. 1982), and also his brother, the current khalifa, 
Shaykh Bakri (b.1946). Shaykh used to work in his farms, he 
cultivated and harvest, as the farmers did. At Tabat and on the 
Northern gate, of my master Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, Shaykh 

al-Tayyib came to build, his own khalwas, for guidance. Few 
years later lie was instructed by Shaykh Abd al -Mahmoud, to 
establish a mosque, in South of Gezira, it happened that Shaykh 
al-Tayyib left to Abu-Qumeri a village in the northern direction, 
of the city of al-Hosh, and set up there his mosque as well the 
masid. He was asked, why he came, to a place where he had no 
relatives, or cousins, he replied that the idea of doing, such an 
action was done, through Ishara. Shaykh al-Tayyib lived as a 
helper to his father, and with his departure to the hereafter, he 
came to assume the full office of the khalifate that because he 
was already had granted the grand ijaza, when he was of twenty 

o o c 

years, and during the life time of his father . 'Shaykh al- 
Tayyib deemed an exemplary model, for tasawwuf . ’ in Sudan in 
general, and to the Tayyibiyan house, more specifically, that 
because he was so much involved in the love of Allah and His 
remembrance, so much occupied with the sciences, Qur'an's 
recitation, murids 'guidance, and his detachment from worldly 
things, only to sheer necessity, as well his refrained from 
politics and its people 186 . 'Shaykh al-Tayyib was a genius and a 

385 Interview with Shaykh Mohammad el-Hasan Shaykh al-Tayyib 
Hasaheisa, 15, 8, 2013. 

386 Interview with Shaykh Abd al-Jabbar Shaykh al-Balal al-Khaldi , al- 
Thura 17, Omdurman, 15-9-2013. 


unique of his own time, he was an example of the well-versed 
scholar, who passed through, a point or a matter of the 
Ashmawiyya, then deeply went on quoting several Mama views, 
on the very same point, till the muazin, calls for the prayer. He 
used to advise us, by saying. Take fariqal-qawm. Learn what 
help you, to do your prayer, on the correct right way. And have 
a work 387 . About his doctrine in guidance, he (may Allah be 
pleased with him), had abide by the method of the salaf He had 
followed a Mustafiyyanmanhaj, in murids' guidance, for he used 
to send out, a scholar to each village, where he had murids, just 
for educating them, their religion matters. At his age the kinqa , 
had witnessed great expansion. He had initiated thousands of 
thousands of murids into the Sammaniyya, while he has 
authorized so many of the notable students, who come finally to 
establish their own independent mas ids. Among the noted of 
those students, Shaykh Shatoot at w.Madani, Shaykh Azuz 
also at the same city, Shaykh Hasan Ahmad al-Awad 
(b.194 7) 388 . Shaykh Hasan Ahmad al-Awad masid is the most 
resent active branch of the Sammaniyya, at Omdurman al- 
Harah al-TaSaa, what distinguish this branch, is the weekly 

387 Interview with Mohammed al-Amrn al-Sammani, Arbaji,l- 9- 2013. 
388 Interview with Shaykh Abd al-Jabar Shaykh al-Balal al-Khaldi, al-Thura 
17, Omdurman, 15-9-2013. 


religious lectures, which delivered by famous notable scholars, 
as well the annual festival, which in essence is a competition, 
held for celebrating the prayer upon the prophet (PBUH). 
Another active branch of the tariqa, and a student of Shaykh al- 
Tayyib, is that one of Shaykh al-Balal Shaykh Munir al-Khaldi, 
at Omdurman al-Harah 17, this branch of the tariqa, leads by 
Shaykh Abd al-Jabar Shaykh al-Balal, a professor of Arabic 
language, at Omdurman Islamic University. Shaykh al-Tayyib 
has passed away ini 970, and came to be succeeded by his son 
Shaykh al-Mahmoud, who died in 1982. The khalifa now 
(2014) is Shaykh al-Bakrl. 

Figure 5- 19 Shaykli al-Tayyib Shaykh al-Bashir Shaykh Abdr- 
Rhman d.1970 


Shaykh al-Bakrl Shaykh al-Tayyib- b-1946 

He was born at Tabat Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, in the year 
1946. His father is Shaykh al-Tayyib b. Shaykh al-BashTr 
(d.1970), while his mother is sayyida Fatima (al-Baqait), the 
daughter of sayyidi Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im 
rajil Tabat. In his education life he studied his elementary, at 
Tabat and Hasaheisa. He also studied at w.Madani scientific 
institute. And then went to Omdurman, and joined Omdurman 
scientific institute. Under his father received the education of 
suluk and tasawwuf. Finally he went in his professional life, to 
teach, in the different schools of the central region. Shaykh al- 
Bakrl has a poetic dm an , includes prophetic as well educational 
poems. He has assumed the full office of the Sammaniyya 
khalifate prior to the passing away of his brother Shaykh Abd 
al-Mahmoud and that was in the year 1 982 " 89 . 'Shaykh al-Bakrl 
was a primary school teacher; he succeeded his brother, as 
akhalifia to the carpet of the Sammaniyya. At his reign the 
tariqa also has witnessed more expansion, than before, for more 
khalwas as well zdwiyas , have been opened, in the different part 
of the country, assigning special task which giving people 

389 http ://kheef . org/?page_id=8 7 . 


guidance, with aim of the purification of the souls. At our own 
time, Sliaykh al-Bakrl deems an example to the true ascetic 
Sufi, the people of his own time, strongly believe that. He took 
on a strict and rigorous life of abstinence and austerity, and used 
to spend his nights in prayer and meditation 390 . 


390 Interview with Shaykh Abd al-Jabar Shaykh al-Balal al-Khaldi, al-Thura 
17, Omdurman, 15-9-2013. 


Shaykh al-BashTr Shaykh Nur al-Da'im 1832-1919 

His full name is Shaykh al-BashTr b. Shaykh Nur al-Da'im 
(d. 1 852) b. Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib. He was bom ini 832. In 
the Shift path he was initiated at the hand of his father’s well- 
reputed student, Shaykh al-QurashT b. al-Zyan (d.l 880). Shaykh 
al-BashTr was one of the gnostic, devoted all his life to the good 
service of Islam and tasawwuf. Before his coming to stay, for 
the last time at Tabat al-Samman, with his blessed son Shaykh 
al-Samman (1850-1967), he had spent a lot of time at al-Tebeib- 
village near Rufa'a. The story of his coming, and then his 
staying, to the final days of his life, is told in the story visit of 
the founder's grandson Shaykh al-Samman of al-Madina to 
Tabat. It worth noting that, from ancient times, as the tradition 
ran, the sons of Shaykh Muhammad Abd al-Karlm al-Samman, 
used to pay visit, to the sites of the tariqa in Sudan. It was said 
that the visit, of the grandson supposed to be at al-Tebeib, but it 
did not happened, for it was decided to be in Tabat, with Shaykh 
al-Samman. It was narrated that Shaykh al-Samman, who is 
known with his extreme generosity, had exaggerated in the 
honouring of the grandson, to the point that he came, to give all 
his belongings, bought all what he had. It was reported that at 
the very that remarkable visit, and whenever he (the Shaykh) 


brings a precious thing, his father used to say 'My son al- 
Sammani, this is insufficient from you', so Shaykh after he 
emptied all the pockets and the bags, he came to his father, and 
said: 'I see nothing, but the hafeed s permission, to my family 
and I, going to serve him, in al-Madina'. With all joy and 
rapture, the grandson's delegation, left Tabat al-Samman, and 
few days, Shaykh al-Bashlr had seen in a vision, that madad and 
fath , an opening, had come to his son, from the great master, the 
qutb al-Samman, and went to tell him, saying: 'My son al- 
Sammani, an opening had come to you, without wash, from al- 
Samman' he meant Sainman of Madina , added that famous 
phrase of his 'metil da ma binfaat , like this, one didn't afford to 
leave', pointing to that high and sublime status of his. 

Shaykh al-Bashlr was one of the great aw ally a and the 
righteous, whose dua'a is answered and accepted" . In his book 
al-Ku'us al-Mutar'a fi Manaqib al-Sadah al-Arba'a , the wide- 
fame wall , his brother Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud (d. 1 91 5), said 
about him: 'Shaykh al-Bashlr was, with inner purification, wide 
generosity, and spiritual struggle. He used to enter the sixty day 
khalwa; he had never gone heedless from his Lord's 
remembrances, a moment of time, with much fear of Allah, his 

391 Article published on the internet by Abdul galil Salih 2010. 


love, and with a sound tongue and heart. The devotion's light, 
truthfulness, sincerity, and the sound true intention, were so 
clear on him and undeniable. He has students and khulafa , in the 
tariqa; they are all, on the right path, and with 
baraka ~. Shaykh al-Bashlr, has initiated many followers in the 
Siifi path, as well (may God pleased him), has authorized so 
many as Shuyukh in Sammanyyia, among the most famous of 
them, was Shaykli Muhammad al-Amir and the sons of Shaykh 
al-Tuhami in Dender area. Shaykh al-BashTr has passed away in 
1919, and came to be buried in a tomb, at Tabat Shaykh al- 
Sammani, his shrine becomes, a focal spot of visiting. And at 
the time of his death, he left many blessed and righteous sons: 
Shaykli al-Sidiq, Shaykli al-Rashid, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz, 


Shaykh al-Rufi, Shaykli al-Tayyib and Shaykh al-Samman 

392 Abd al-Mahumd Nur al-Da'im, al-Ku'us al-Mutra ’a di Manqib al-Sada al- 
Rba ’a 

393 http://islaminafrica. 
S ammani yy a-om ai dan/ . 


Figure 5- 21 the tomb of Shaykli al-Bashlr Shaykh Nur al- 
Da'im 1832-1919 


Shaykh al-Samman Shaykh al-BashTr 1850- 1967 

The widespread teachings of the Sammaniyya Qadiriyya tanqa, 
on the western bank of the Blue Nile River, and the surrounding 
towns and villages of Sinnar State is attributed to the well- 
reputed Shaykh al-Sammani Shaykh al-BashTr" (1850-1967 
A.C). Shaykh al-Samman is a grandson to Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib He was initiated into the Sufi path at the 
hand of his father Shaykh al-BashTr w.Nur al-Da'im (1832 - 
1919) j94 . 'Our father Shaykh al-Sammani, read the Qur'an at 
w.Radat- Malulaha west of Dender, memorized the Qur'an, and 
studied some of the books of fiqh. He grew up very serious, had 
great care of observing religiosity, and Sufi striving since the 
prime of his age. When he reached the age of eighteen, the 
students of his father at the village of wad-Tawil, west of 
Sinnar, asked his residence, for becoming a guide as well 
religious leader to them. Shaykh al-BashTr responded to their 
request. There he set up a small mctsTd , and from the outset he 
engaged in rigorous and hard spiritual struggle and strive. He 
cared for entering khalwas and kept on this way of spiritual 
striving. The time passed by, and during this time he married 
our mother Arnna bt al-Badawi, the mother of his eldest son 

394 Ibid. 


Shaykh al-Badawi. The continuity of performing litanies and 
adhkar, and then this earlier hard religious and immense 
striving, left Shaykh al-Samman in total preparation, for a grand 
and sublime mission, which is irshad , and this was not strange, 
since he is the grandson of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib the qutb 
of the tariqa. From wad-Tawil he came to establish, a village on 
the western bank of the Blue Nile, 40 kilometre of Sinnar, and 
west of Haj Abd Allah town. The village known as Tabat', after 
the famous one of that of his cousin, Tabat Shaykh Abd al- 
Mahmoud. Thus, at Tabat he founded the masid, and soon 
people flocked to him from far and wide, asking to be initiated 
under his guidance. The masid in its earliest days, was built 
from the local materials, mainly grass and woods, a alongside 
the masid there was the Qur'anic khalwa. 

Shaykh had shown greater concern to ilm , and for this he used 
to seize the opportunity of the wandering ulama, who used at 
the earliest time of the twenty century, travelling from place to 
another, asked them to stay in the masid , in order to teach, his 
sons as well the village’s people and murids. In addition, he 
used also to send to the famous ulama , to come and to stay in 
the masid , for teaching the fiqh and tasawwuf. It was narrated 
that ulama used to spend months and even years, in his masid. 

Such efforts led by the Shaykh had reflected in the growth of 
religious awareness among the murids and the people in the 
area in general. 

Through his strong belief Shaykh al-Samman, (May Allah 
pleased him), realized the importance of education and 
knowledge in the people lives, so he established institute for 
religious science, in 1956. Alongside the Islamic and Arabic 
subjects that were taught at the Institute, modern subjects such 
as Geography, Mathematics and English Language were also 
introduced as part of the curriculum. It is said that just as he was 
concerned with people's guidance, master al-Samman was also 
equally concerned with the great message of the institute, which 
focuses on increasing awareness and combating ignorance in 
that remote area of the Sudan. It was said that for that reason the 
Shaykh was personally in charge of the institute, paying the 
salaries of the teachers and providing accommodation for them 
and the students. After many years of his direct charge to the 
institute, it was finally handed over to the government, to place 
under the supervision of the Religious Affairs Ministry 

The Shaykh held significant views on guidance, he used to 
emphasize and always stresses in his speech, to his murids, that 
guidance, and with the changes of time, turned a precious rare 

commodity, while in so many occasions, used to quote the 
words of the qutb Sliaykh Mustafa al-Bakrl, who says: 

Muz Raitu al-Salikeen Qalu 

Al-Murshidin fi al-Khafa Oad Hdlu 

Since I saw the wayfarers went few 

The guides on khafa had dwelled 39 * 

And also he would heavily emphasize to the people and murids, 
the nearness of the time stressing that the universe not long, and 
would get dark, telling that the darkness occurs by the 
disappearance of the gnostics. His speech went compatible with 
that prophetic tradition which assured: "Truly, Allah does not 
remove Sacred Knowledge by taking itout of servants, but 
rather by taking back the souls of Islamic scholars [in death], 
until, when He has not left a single scholar, the people take the 
ignorant as leaders, who are asked for and who give Islamic 
legal opinion without knowledge, misguided and misguiding'' 

And in his speech about the nearness, and then the end of time, 
he used to quote his grandfather Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al- 

395 Interview with Sediq Shaykh al-Badawi, Tabat Shaykh al-Sammani, 10, 

Bashir", who held the view to the coming of the doomsday in 
the formula: 'Tamudu, Eym, and Taduqu' 


T: Turks. 

M: Mahdi. 

D: Dajjal. 


E: Eisa- Jesus. 

Y: Yajoj and Majooj , Gog and Magog. 

R: Raf al-Qur'an , lifting the Qur'an. 


T: Qafl ba'ab al-Tawba, the closure of repentance door. 

D: Aabat al-Ard, a crawler of the earth. 

Q: Qiam al-Sa'd , the doomsday. 

Also Shaykli hold a view on who the wall ought to be, he used 
to say that the perfect wall, who does not possess 'sukar', is not 

a perfect wall , so when he was asked about the phrase, he 
explained it as follows: 

S: Secret. 

K: Alchemy. 

R: Ruhani. 

Stories of the extreme generosity and karamat of the Shaykli 
spread rapidly among the people of the area of whom the 
majority were fanners and animal herders. He by no means the 
quintessential of generosity, his masTd is housing many have- 
nots. The occurrence of great miracles at the hands of the 
Shaykli as well the charismatic qualities of him, were the 
reasons found to be behind the successful spread of the tarlqa in 
the area. He is from amongst the great of his era. He was the 
perfect example of his pious predecessors, in knowledge, piety, 
wisdom and understanding. All the great awaliyd ' of the time 
held him in great esteem. He was very kind and generous and 
always prepared to assist the servants of Allah. 

Socially, al-Samman never neglected the great responsibility of 
social contact, and by maintaining good relations with people 
irrespective of race, tribe or social status. 

Al-Samman had written many poems on the praising of the 
prophet as well on the qawm, among the most famous is 
Mandhumat fi ll'sanad al-Qadiri al-Sammani . He also 
composes prayer upon the prophet (PBUH). 

He (may Allah be pleased with him) had guided many of the 
murids , by his mere glance. He granted ijdza to several notable 
students of them Sharif Daf Allah, the grandson of Sharif al- 
Hajj Abd Allh, and Shaykh Al-Awad w.Ahmudi, the poet 
Shaykli Muhammad al-Amln, the poet Min Damat, also the 
Shaykh and the well-noted madih al-Amln Ahmad al- 


Qurashl . After a life full of piety and great deeds, master 
Shaykh al-Samman passed away in the year 1967, and was 
buried at Tabat al-Samman, where his shrine has become a 
place of attraction for everyday visitors. Shaykli al-Samman 
was survived by many daughters and five blessed sons they are: 
Shaykli al-Bakrl, al-Badawi, al-Jayili, al-Sediq, and Shaykh 
Ibrahim 397 . 

396 Interview with Sediq Shaykh al-Badawi, Tabat Shaykh al-Sammani, 10, 
10, 2013. 

397 http://islaminafrica. 


Figure 5- 22 Shaykh al-Sammani Shaykli al-Bashir 1850-1967 

Shaykh al-BakrT Shaykh al-Sammani 1917- 1970 

Master Shaykh al-Bakrl (1917-1970) really is one of the few 
greatest awaliya, who came at a late time, when passed away 
left behind a great spiritual legacy, represented in a generation 
of men, among the people became like the stars in brightness 
and number. His biography tells that he is the son of Shaykh al- 

S a m m an i Shaykli al-Bashir (1850-1967). His grandfather is the 
pioneer of the Sammaniyya in Sudan, while on the side of his 
grandmother he belonged to the family of Shaykli Muhammad 
w. Taha al-Azraq the famous wall, and the student of Shaykli 
Ahmad al-Tayyib. Shaykli al-Bakrl took the bia'a from his 
father Shaykli al-Samman. And during his lifetime (Shaykli al- 
Samman), he (may Allah be pleased with him) had established 
his own independent masid beside that one of his father, and 
began to receive the guests and visitors, showered his material 
and spiritual blessing upon them and giving the Sufi allegiance 
to the seekers. This act of the son had pleased his father, for the 
father knew from the beginning what the future holds for his 
blessed son. The time has rolled on, and the prophecy of the 
father has come true and verified, so from the so many who 
were called, master Shaykli al-Bakrl came to be one of the few 
who were chosen; chosen to be a wall known to the people of 
heaven, before the people on earth, chosen to the presence of 
Allah as a perfect inheritor to the prophet Muhammad and the 
Reality, chosen to guide men to the presence of Allah. He was 
one of the perfect of a wallya. The signs and qualities of 
perfection which represented in knowledge, piety, good 
character, and handsome appearance were applicable to him. It 

was said that he strongly strict to the prophetic Sunn ah, deeply 
concerned with the moral and spiritual training of his disciples, 
trained them with firmness. Shaykh used to as manner of 
encouragement in the path striving and struggle, to try to eat 
less and sleep less, as there is great benefit in this. He strongly 
believes that in Sufism, the love of influence, hinders the 
murids' spiritual advancement and ascending 

A lot of stories tell us that he was one of the men of insight and 
clear sight. The incidence of the many and the frequent kardmat 
attributed to him fixed the charismatic powers of the Shaykh in 
the minds of his disciples and murids. The spread of such 
stories of kardmat, in addition to the spiritual powers of the 
Shaykh , adding to his strong personal qualities, had a great 
influence in attracting many people to take the Sufi allegiance at 
his blessed hand. To his disciples he was a sincere guide, 
followed taSawwuf teachings and principles with great love, 
sincerity and devotion, and thus regained their dignity and 
integrity as human beings. Shaykh al-Bakrl was able, by Allah’s 
leave, to revive an entire generation, and the repercussions of 
such work are still being felt’ .'He was a man, being counted 

398 http://islaminafrica. 

^ 458 

with the fathers, he was not, from his generation sons, solely in 
the divine place, he was, with the fathers, a lot of the Sammani 
Shuyukh have proved this to him. He was one of the great, 
influential awaliya, a man with strong will. Despite the time, its 
delay and worse, he has strong hand in guidance. He is a man of 
clear spiritual struggle, and his ijihad , hadn't less, than that of 
the salaf. In his ijtihad he successfully, had imitated the early 
men of the salaf. When you see, or listen from him, as if you 
had seen, the men from the dawn of history, the righteous, the 
prophets and the messengers'. He held in high esteem for his 
arduous mujahadat , devotional practices, endowed with 
immense spiritual zeal, which enable him, to be among the great 
leaders of the tarTqa 399 . 'Always when I came to him, I found 
him laid on the ground. I used to ask him: 'Shaykh what is 
this!?' the bed is well- prepared, with the mattress and pillow, as 
well the mat, why did you lay on the ground! ?He says: 'O 
Yousif, if am not shame of people, would say that Shaykh is 
careless or reckless, even on the daytime, I wouldn't sit on the 
mat. For the pleasure and comfort I get, from laying on the 
ground, I wouldn’t get from elsewhere, and the nice, sweetest 

399 Interview with Sediq Shaykh al-Badawi, Tabat Shaykh al -Sammani, 27, 

perfume, that I smell I didn't find its like. Shaykh went on and 
said: 'O Yousif , 

I said 'Yes' 

'Who is counted the comfortable? Is it the traveller? Or the man 
who sleeps, at his home?'The man who sleeps, at his own home, 
is the comfortable' I said. 

'Isn’t it better going as home's owner, be so familiar to it (the 
ground), and get down there, as an owner, rather than a guest 400 . 

He (may Allah be pleased with him), always read Salat al- 
Nuqtja; the circle centre of the existence prayer of the qutbdl- 
Samman, and salat al-lahotiyya, Salat al-Adhama, and 
concluded with hizb al-Amdn of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib. In 
the dhikr circles, he used to conclude with reading the whole of 
hizbal-aman. In the voluntary prayers, he used always, to pray 
six rak'at , after magrib prayer, also he used to do duha prayer 
six units, and every day he used to read chapter of the holy 
Qur'an'. Master Shaykh al-Bakrl, wherever he went, he brought 
with him the transmission of tasting, the world beyond that of 
the senses. He lived his religious life, as an example to others, 
and gifted all, whom he met, with increase in Iman. His life is a 


Interview with Shaykh Yusif al-Riziqi, Omaidan, May, 2012. 


shining example of victory of truth and righteousness, over the 
forces of darkness and deception’. 

In poetry writing, to him is attributed the famous Qasida'halat 
julusum al-qawm The Shaykli has given the ijaza to so several 
students; among them is Shaykli Yusuf al-Riziqi 401 . 

Master Shaykli al-Bakrl has passed away in the year 1970, and 
was survived by two daughters and five sons: Shaykli Hasan al- 
BaSri (1943), who is the khalifa now, at Tabat al-Samman, 
Shaykli al-Tayyib, Shaykli Nur al-Da'im, Shaykli Muhammad 
Taha, and Shaykli al-Samman (1954) at Omaidan 402 . 



Ibid. publuished by Abdulgalil Salih. 


Figure 5-23 Shaykh al-Bakri Shaykli al-Sammani 1917- 1970 

Shaykh al-Badawi Shaykh al-Sammani 1918 -2007 

He is Shaykli al-Badawi b. Shaykli al-Sammani b. Shaykli al- 
Bashir. He was bom at Tabat in 1918. He memorized the holy 
Quran at the khalwa of w.Abu-Salih, East of the Nile. He was 
known with his true and sincere devotion, he stood as symbol to 
asceticism. From his earlier growth he considered mjdhub, it 

could be said that he was semi-absent from the materialistic 
world. To the point that and in many cases didn't know his close 
relatives, sons and wives, for each moment you find him and 
whenever one of them entered to him, you find him asking: "who 
are you? , as it known this in Sufism called the absence. He didn't 
know the currencies with its varied values. Throughout the fifty 
years of my presence with him, he didn't ask of a certain food 
only one time. He had a wide deep knowledge on the science of 
the Quran recitations. Of a high excel in aw rad and adhkar 
performance. His majilis was always on the sirrah , the stories of 
the salaf and the righteous. He didn't engaged in politics and 
refrained himself away of the nonsense. He didn't occupy himself 
with the sustenance. In more than one time and while with his 
presence with his murids , his father (Shaykh al-Sammani) used 
to tell that he (al-Badawi) remainded him with his ancestors. 
Shaykh al-Badawi has passed away in the year 2007 after 37 year 
as khalifa of the tariqa , and came to be buried with his father at 

Figure 5- 24 Shaykh al-Badawi Shaykli al-Sammani 1918 -2007 

Shaykh al-Jayili Shaykh al-Sammani 1922 -1995 

His full name is Shaykli al-Jayili Shaykh al-Sammani Shaykh al- 
Bashir. He was bom at Tabat Shaykh al-Sammani in 1922 and 
spent his blessed age there till his passing away in 1995. He is a 
full brother to both of Shaykh al-Bakri (1917-1970), and Shaykli 
Ibrahim (d.2008). His grandmother is Um-Alhasan bt. Shaykli 

Abd Allah, the grandson of Shaykh Muhammad Taha al-Azraq 
the student of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib the founder 
of the Sammaniyya in Sudan and Egypt. Shaykh al-Jayili 
received his earlier education at the khalwa of his father at Tabat, 
so he memorized the Quran and learnt what is essential of the ilm 
and sciences. He was a man of true and strange visions. He had a 
wide and profound knowledge about the lives of the Bedouins. 
He occupied himself with dhikr and devotion till his passing way 
in 1 995. He left behind many sons and daughters. 

Figure 5-25 Shaykh al-Jayili Shaykh al-Sammani 1927 -1995 

Shaykh al-Sediq Shaykh al-Sammani 1925 -2002 

He is Shaykh al-Sediq b. Shaykh al-Sammani b. Shaykh al- 
Bashir. He is the fourth in rank among his brothers. He was bom 
at Tabat in 1918. His mother is Nafisa bt. Shaykh al-Sediq b. 
Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifae b. Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al- 
Bashir. Therefore, he is Tayyibi from both of his parents' side. He 
has grown up at this grand house which has known with the 
virtue of righteousness, and the teachings of Quran and Urn. He 
was a man who known with his love to renewal and innovation. 
He always sought the highest. 

He has graduated from wad-Madani scientific institute, he 
thought of going to Azhar to continue his education, but his 
father preferred his presence beside him. He was a vigilant 
knowing the changes of times and the future's challenges. He was 
behind the idea of the establishment of Tabat Institute as well the 
elementary school this during 1950s. In fact the foundation of 
these two scientific institutes had come together to make great 
contribution towards the growing of the awareness among the 
local inhabitants. A lot of students came to reap the benefit of the 
affiliation to these two institutes. 

It could be said that the varied services that the inhabitants of the 
area come to enjoy is back to the efforts led by Shaykh al-Sediq. 
He has worked as a teacher at Tabat Institute for many years, 
only left the post with the passing away of his father in 1967, so 
as to look and care for the murids' affairs. Despite that the two 
institutes had remained under his supervision. 

He had a political ambition for he looked for assuming political 
post with idea of serving his people. But this trend had found 
deaf ear from his father, who preferred him to be away from 
politics. He enjoyed close an intimate place to his father. 

After many years spent on the good service to the people of the 
area as a whole and tasawwuf in particular he has passed away in 
2002, and came to be buried with his father at Tabat. 

Figure 5 -26Shaykh al-Sediq Shaykh al-Sammani 1925 -2002 

Shaykh Ibrahim Shaykh al-Sammani 1927- 2008 

His full name is Shaykh Ibrahim Shaykh al-Sammani. He was the 
youngest of his brothers. He was bom and grown up at Tabat 
Shaykh al-Sammani. He was a man of great enthusiasm for dhikr 
and aw rad He was of much fasting and of much staying up late 

in the nights. In this concern he is liken to the great students of 
his father. His majlis always joined those who love dhikr. Shaykh 
Ibrahim had passed away in 2008, and came to be buried at his 
father's tomb. 

Figure 5 -27 Shaykh Ibrahim Shaykh al-Sammani 1927- 2008 

Figure 5-28 the author with Shaykh al-Sediq Shaykh al- 
Badawi, Tabat Shaykh al-Sammani October 2013 

Shaykh Hasan Shaykh al-BakrT. b.1948 

My master Shaykh Hasan al-BaSri was bom atTabat Shaykli al- 
Sammani in 1943. He descends from a long line of religious 
notables. His father is my master Shaykh al-BakrT (1917-1970) 
b. Shaykli al-Sammani (1850-1967). His lineage 
from both of his parents ends with the qutb Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib (d.1824), the pioneer of the Sammaniyya 
.Shaykh Hasan al-BaSri has received his early education at al- 

Barsi elementary school, w. albbas locality, and then he went to 
Abu-Qumeri, and continued his education. And from there he 
went to Omdurman scientific institute. Finally he left to Cairo, 
specifically to al-Azhar al-Shanf, with his younger brother 
Shaykli Nur al-Da'im, he remained there for more than three 
years, and he backed to Sudan, and this was happened, few 
months of the sudden passing away of his father, the perfect 
wall Shaykli al-Bakrl in 1970. 

Shaykli Hasan has appointed khdlifia , to the caipet of the 
Sammaniyya branch of Tabat Shaykli al-Sammani, and has 
become the ultimate successor, to his father Shaykli al-Bakii, 
shortly after the untimely of his passing away. Since that earlier 
time, and till now, Shaykli Hasan devoted himself to the good 
service of Islam and Sufism. Has continued by exerting the 
efforts to go on with, the great responsibility which has put on 
his shoulder. At the earliest years of his khdlifiate he used to 
engage on prolongretreats, mainly he used to spend, the whole 
month of Ramadan in the retreats, this for quite so many years, 
until recently. Because of a true and sincere devotion, and 
striving in the Sufi path, he has attracted many students to the 
fold of the Sammaniyya. In turn he has authorized and granted 
ijaza of Shaykhdom, to so many of the students, who saw in 

them, the eligibility and qualification, in the spread of the tanqa 
teachings, through the establishing of the religious duties, 
prayers, award , and holding the circles of dhikr. 

His personality was so dynamic, that any person who saw him 
would immediately recognize that he is wall Allah. This quality 
of his was more evident than anything else. He spent his entire 
life serving the cause of Islam and tasawwuf. To Shaykh Hasan 
several prayers upon the prophet (PBUH). 

Shaykh Hasan has followed the same doctrine of his righteous 
predecessors, mainly the Sammani Qadiri tradition, known with 
its simplicity and easiness, and which at the same time suits the 
nature of the people of the area, i.e. the western and eastern of 
the Blue Nile River, for in fact the majority of the people here 
are farmers, and animal herders. In fact the most important 
celebrated religious festivals, in the masid of Tabat, is the third 
day of the each of eid al-Fiter , and eid al-Adha , in addition to 
the Friday dhikr. Reading ratib al-sa ’ada in the morning and 
evening, adding to the reading of al-Barzanji maw lid book on 

Figure 5- 29 Shaykh Hasan Shaykh al-Bakrl Shaykh al-Sammani b. 1943 


Figure 5-30 masid of Shaykli al-Samman Shaykh al-BashTr 
1850- 1967 Sinnar State. 

Shaykh al-Sammani Shaykh al-BakrT. b.1954 

Each era has produced true and sincere guides who testified to 
the prophetic message, and gave guidance, to thirsty seekers of 
divine knowledge and the Sufi path, among such guides comes 
Shaykh al-Samman Shaykh al-BakrT. The life story of Shaykh 
al-Samman (1954) tells that he was bom at the village of 
Omaidan-30km north of Dender- he is the son of master Shaykh 


al-Bakrl (1917-1970), whose lineage ends with al-Abbas b.Abd 
al-Mutalib the prophet's cousin. He was named al-Samman after 
his grandfather the knower of Allah Shaykh al-Samman 
BashTr (1850-1967). 

Previously Omaidan lacked the necessities for a dignified life of 
its people; there was no school, no water supply and no health 
centre. But with the presence of al-Samman and because of the 
great efforts that he has exerted, the situation in all its aspects 
started to change. However his appearance at this small village, 
which lies on the eastern bank of the Dender river, is considered 
an expansion of the previous efforts led by his forefathers in 
changing, and hence the spreading of the true message of Islam 
and tasawwuf. The spirit of change in that society began when a 
primary school for both boys and girls was opened in the year 
1986. What distinguished the early batches of this school was 
that students successfully had linked the memorization of the 
Qur'an and the subjects that were taught at the school. This 
happened by dividing their time between the school and the 
masid, where there is the khalwa in which they learn and 
memorize the Qur'an. 

Many factors lie behind the dominance and the successful 
spread of the Sammaniyya Qadiriya tariqa, at Dender area, 
among which is the personality of the Shaykli himself. To the 
local people Shaykh al-Samman stands as an example of 
generosity, piety and righteousness. In addition the spiritual 
power of the Shaykh which represented in the innumerable 
occurrence of karamat which come to play an important role in 
attracting many people to the fold of the tariqa 403 . ‘The village 
of Omaidan distinguishes as an enlightened Sufi and religious 
centre, for it joins the masid of Shaykh al-Sammani b. Shaykli 
al-Bakri b. Shaykli al-Sammani b. Shaykli al-BashTr b. Shaykli 
Nur al-Da'im b. Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib, the Sammaniyya 
Tayebiyya Shaykli . The tariqa in which the bulk of the people 
of the area, Arabs and Fulani have joint, if not all of them. It 
could be said that the whole of the village, is found in the 
masid, which its prominent institution, and that one of the 
Rufa'a and Dender villages at large. Hence, and because of the 
masid the village gained its fame, not only on the western 
Sinnar and Dender localities, but in the whole State corners. 
This masid deems a cultural social hotbed, through it the 
inhabitants of the area, of Arabs and Fulani interact, and in it, 




all the ethnic, linguistics, religious and economical differences 
fading away, so this masid is a focal point for their interaction. 
Like the other of themost of the Sudanese villages, which come 
to base on in its establishment on Sufism , the masid here is the 
first nucleus, of which the current village based on 404 . Omaidan 
now has turned into a centre in which the renewed Shaykh al- 
Samman devotes his time, to the good service of people. For he 
daily receiving the hundreds, from different parts of the country 
with their diverse classes and sects, flock to the masid seeking 
guidance and spiritual cure. The presence of the Shaykh to the 
society is that he is a trusted figure for curing mental diseases; a 
lot of people come to Omaidan with their insane relatives, as al- 
Samman is reputed to cure them. Like his ancestors his door is 
open to all people, his whole life is dedicated to the service of 
the humanity. Shaykh al-Samman plays an important role in the 
reconciliation and settlement of many disputes and social 
conflicts which arise among the tribes of the area. Because of 
the spiritual power he possesses people respect his word. al- 
Samman wrote several poems in qawm and suluk. 

In fact the Sammani Qadiri doctrine follows, by the Shaykh has 
great impact in the spread of the tariqa , round Dender area and 

404 Interview with Abbas al-Hajj, Khartoum, 17, 9, 2013. 


beyond. Such doctrine attracts people to the fold of tasawwuf 
and fctriqct in particular. About the activity in the masTd, is the 
reading of ratib al-Sa 'ad in the morning and evening, reading 
mawlid imam al-Barzanji on Friday, adding to the Friday dhikr 
which started in 1986. And then celebrating the third day of 
each of the eid al-Fikr and al-Daha 405 

Figure 5-31 Shaykli al- S a m man Shaykh al-Bakri b- 1954 



Published article on the internet by Abdul galil Salih 2010. 

Figure 5- 32 masid of Shaykh al-Samman Shaykli al-Bakri, 
Sinnar State. 

Sharif Ahmad al-Tuhami Sharif Ayis 1920 -1977 

The family of Sharif Ahmad al-Tuhami Sharif Ayis, belongs to 
Sharif Muhammad Abyad, one of the seventh SharTfs, who 
came to Sudan, in the accompany of Shaykli Abd Allah al-Araki 
(923-1019. H). His biography tells that he is Husayni Ahdali 
Sharif; his lineage ends with imam Husayn the grandson of the 
prophet Muhammad. The family turned to be called al- 
Abyadab, through the great grandfather Sharif Muhammad 
Abyad. In the past they were the followers of the Shadhaliyya 
tariqa, mainly Sharif Muhammad, and Sharif Abd Allah as well 
1 ^^ 479 

Sharif Abd al-Wahab. While from Sharif Ayis Abshila, to 
Sharif Idris, they were Qadiri followers. Many years later their 
loyalty moved to the Sammaniyya through shairf Muhammad 
al-Amir, who was instructed by his father, Sharif Abd al-Qadir 
to take the Sammaniyya, from Shaykh al-BashTr w.Nur al-Da'im 
(1832-1919). It was stated that, there was a Sammani sanad, 
preceded that one of Shaykh al-BashTr, for Sharif Idris also was 
instructed with one of his grandfathers, to take Sammani tariq, 
from Shaykh w. Ali al-Haraj, who was student to Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-BashTr (1742-1824) 406 . 

Sharif Ahmad al-Tuhami was bom in 1920 at the village of 
Abu-Raw, west of Dinder. He received his education at the 
area's khalwas. The village of Sharif al-Tuhami, where the masid 
of the Sammaniyya is found, was established by Sharif Ahmad 
al-Tuhami in 1950 407 . 

The story life of the Sharif stated that he was a memorizer to the 
holy Qur'an, a man with strong will and determination in dhikr , 
and awrdd , has a poetic diawn with the name of al-Tabaqat , in 
the praising of the prophet (PBUH), suluk , and on qawm. A man 

406 Interview with Ayis Sharif Asir, Amarat al-Sharlf al-Tuhami, 25, 10, 

40 Mausuat 1 Ahal al-Dhikrfi al-Sudan, Vollume II, p: 591. 

480 — < 

with great numbers of students in the Sufi path. About the 
activities in the masid , is the continuity of the Friday evening 
dhikr, which began at the time of Sharif Taj- Adin, in addition to 
the reading of ratib al-Sa'da, in the morning and evening, 
adding to the commemoration of the religious festivals, mainly 
the two eids. 

One of the famous figures who emerged from the Abyadab 
family also was Sharif Taj Adin, who was known for his 
passion for travelling. It was reported that he was reached one 
day, the cave of Qadir, where imam al-Mahdi, went into 
devotion, prior to the declaration of his revolution. It was 
believed that Sharif Taj Adin spent long periods of seclusion 
there. Throughout of his life he sat an example, to the true 
striving Sufi, who spent his life in devotion and guidance. It also 
strongly believed that he was passed away at the rank of 

The khalifa of the branch of the tariqa now, is Sharif Aslr 
(2013). In the earlier days of his khdlifate and until recently, he 
used to hold a religious lesson, every Monday and Friday, in 
fiqh, Sufism, and sirrah. He is well -versed in religious sciences, 
has poetic diwdn , in the praising of the prophet (PBUH), and 

qawm. And as he is getting old and sick, the masid now is under 
the charge of his son Sliaykh al-Shebli (20 1 3) 408 . Tariqa 
Sammaniyya at Dender.Its khalifa is Sharif Aslr Sharif Ayis, 
from Sliaykh Ahmad al-Tuhami Shaykh Ayis, his brother took 
it from his father Shaykh Ayis, Shaykh Abd al-Qadir from 
Shaykh al-Bashlr Nur al-Da'im, by permission from his father 
Shaykh Abd al-Qadir Shaykh Abd al-Wahab. From Shaykh Abd 
al- Waliab it is Sammaniyya tariqa , and those who preceded him 
up to his grandfather Muhammad Abyad it is Qadiriyya 409 . 

Sharif al-Tuhami has passed away in the year 1977, after a life 
full of good deeds for Islam and taSawwuf. He was buried at 
his village and his grave is there 410 . 

408 Interview with Ayis Sharif Asir, Amarat al-Shanf al-Tuhami, 25, 10, 

409 Mausuat Ahal al-Dhikr hi 11 ’Sudan , Khartoum, Vol.l, 2004, p. 281 . 
410 Mausuat Ahal al-Dhikr fi al-Sudan, Vollume II, p: 59 1 . 


Figure 5- 33 Sharif Ahmad al-Tuhami- Dender- Sinnar State. 

Sharif al-Khatim d.1936 

Out of the so prominent figures, who comes to carry the 
teachings of the Sammaniyya, to the eastern bank of the 
Blue Nile and beyond, is Sharif al-Khatim. Hisfull name is 
Sharif Muhammad al-Khatim b. Sharif Taha al-Nur, Ibn 
Sharif sayid Ahmad Ibn sayid Ali. His genealogy ends with 
say/dal-Hasan (625- 670 A.D) the grandson of the prophet. 
Al-Khatim's grandfather came from Mecca and married a 

woman called Um-Hassanien and he returned to Hijaz 
before seeing his son. Sharif al-Khatim had grown up, under 
the care of his grandfather Sharif al-Nur, in a house known 
with religiosity and piety. He memorized the holy Qur'an, 
studied fiqh. And when felt the necessity of taking tariq 
qawm, he refuged to Allah, asking to be shown the man of 
whom he could, take the Sufi pledge. Sharif heard a voice 
calling upon him says: 'Mahmoud', he asked himself, is he 
Shaykh Abdal-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im? Or who is this 
Mahmoud be? However, Sharif al-Khatim began the 
searching journey, until he reached Tabat. He met Shaykh 
Abd al-Mahmoud, and told him, what had happened to him, 
then Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud said to him: 'let's go to my 
Shaykh , al-Qurashl, (may Allah be pleased with 
him]'. When they reached the Shaykh , he welcomed and 
honoured them well. And then Shaykh Abdal-Mahmoud told 
what had happened to Sharif al-Khatim. Sharif was very 
concern, knowing the Shaykh of whom, he could take the 
tariq, so he concealed something on his ownself, and take an 
oath, that he will never take the tariq, from any Shaykh until 
the would become to reveal to him, what he conceals on his 
ownself. In fact Shaykh al-Qurashi, asked Sharlfal-Khatim to 

draw near him, and told him, what he concealed on his 
ownself, and then asked him, to give his hand for the tariq, 
and it was. By an instruction from Shaykh al-Qurashl, Sharif 
al-Khatim, had stayed at the very khalwa, where imam 
Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi resides, and then Shaykh al- 
Qurashl ordered his student Salim, to serve and rendered al- 
Sharlfal-Khatim, with the hospitality. From here the bond of 
love, had grown between Sharifal-Khatim and imam al- 
Mahdi, who came to offer Sharif with some gifts (Holy 
Qur'an, hankool, type of sticks, and kofiyya- hat]. Imam al- 
Hadi [1918-1970], the grandson of imam al-Mahdi had 
visited Karkoj, at the time of sharif Muhammad al-Amln 
caliphate (1905-1976]. 

After Sharif al-Khatim spent of what Allah had wilt, and with 
granting the ijaza, fromShaykh al-Qurashl, he was instructed 
to go back, to Karkoj to give guidance to the people. It was 
happened for he came to establish his masid, and Qur'an's 
khalwas, and setting forth the lessons of fiqh, sirrah, reviving 
the nights of eids, Mawlid, and Isra and miraj. Consequently 
people came to him from far and wide. Sharifal-Khatim had 
married '' who gave him, his righteous son 
Sharif Muhammad al-Amln. Sharif al-Khatim was a true 

ascetic, humble, the ground is his bed, of a very little food 
and speech, and because of that he was nicknamed al-kcitim, 
the silence man. He used to hold two prayer-beads for the 
continuity of dhikr. Also he had strong connection with 
Sharif Yusuf al-Hindi (1869-1942), with whom he 
exchanged letters, and later came to send his sonsSharlf 
Muhammad al-Amln and Sharif Muhammad al-Kamil to his 
masld at Buri. Sharif al-Khatim has passed away, in the year 
of 1936, and came to be succeeded by his righteous son 
Sharif Muhammad al-Amin, who accompanied him for 
twenty years 411 . 

Sharif Muhammad al-Amin al-Khatim 1905- 1976 

Sharif Muhammad al-Amin b. Sharif al-Khatim (d.1936) is 
one of the great awliya', ends with Sharif al-Nur b. Sharif al- 
Tahir (mentioned by Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud in Azahir ai- 
ry idd ). He is high in rank, and noble of lineage, for he is 
Hasani Sharif ends with sayidana al-Hasan b. Ali b.Abi-Talib 
(599-661.A.D). Born at the 19 th century, nearly 1905, at the 
village of Karkog - Dender- Sinnar State. 'Before spending 
one week of his birth, the unique of his own time, and the 

A11 Mausuat ahal al-Dhikr hi // ’Sudan, Khartoum, Vol.5, 2004, p.16/17. 


sultan of his age, sayyidi Sharif Yusuf b.Sharlf Muhammad al- 
Amln al-Hindi (1869-1942), arrived Karkoj, to offer his 
congratulations to Sharlfal-Khatim of his son's birth. Sharif 
had poured on him of the divine gifts, wrapped him with 
lights and named him, after his father, Sharif Muhammad al- 
Amln al-Hindi (d.1883). Sharif Muhammad al-Amln, had 
grown up under the care of his father, he was loveable to 
him, under him he studied the fiqh, in addition he used to 
bring the ulama to teach him, the Qur'an and the sirrah.kt 
this righteous house, which known with its love of 
knowledge and religiosity, he Memorized the Qur'an, at his 
father's khalwa. And later had come to be his right hand, 
inmanaging the masfd affairs, he used to go to farm, to grow 
and harvest, and then store, the product to the masfd's 
visitors and students. Sharif Muhammad al-Amln, had been 
authorized in the Sammaniyya by the knower of Allah, his 
father Sharif Muhammad al-Khatim (d.1936), who was 
authorized by Shaykh al-QurashT (d.1880), from Shaykh 
Ahmad al-Tayyib (d.1824), from Shaykh Muhammad Ibn 
Abd al-Karlm al-Samman (d.1775), from Shaykh 
Muhammad Tahir al-Kurdi. 

Sharif Muhammad al-Amln had strong concern, for the youth, 
he used to encourage them performing the prayer in 
congregation, and staying on the masld, to attend the lessons of 
fiqh and dhikr. And used to warn them of following their whims 
and lust, for him, the youth age is the dangerous stage in the 
human life. At his own time the masld had witnessed much 
progress, and becomes a centre that attracted a lot of students 
from different part of the Sudan. In addition to the visits that 
paid by notable personalities. The masld of Sharif al-Khatim had 
played and still do, significant role in offering the spiritual 
guidance, as well in solving the problems and disputes that 
erupted in the area, generously offered and still do, unlimited 
social help, to the people there. 

A lot of people had come to Sharif, and took the Sammani 
tariq from him, among the most famous of them is Shaykh 
al-Bashlr Muhammad Nur [1918-1988], of Shambat- 
Khartoum State, who belonged to the family of Shaykh Idris (d.1650), was an example of a true ascetic Sufi. 
Shaykh al-Bashlr comes to establish a grand mosque, and 
masld, known with its activities in the area. Sharif has also 
murids, not only of the common people, but also from among 
the ruling class, Ja'afer Muhammad Nimeri, the president of 

the republic of the Sudan (1969-1985] was one of his 
students. And also of the famous students, was al-Rashid al- 
Tahir Bakr [b.1930], who was born at Karkoj, studied law at 
the University of Khartoum (1952), and came to assume 
many ministerial posts. He became animal wealth minister, 
then minster of foreign affairs, then prime minister and 
deputy of president Nimeiri 412 . 

Sharif Muhammad al-Amin was famous for his ability of 
healing people and as an Islamic scholar. However, Sharif 
Muhammad al-Amin died in 1976 and his successor became 
his son Sharif Tijani. Like all of the Sammanis Shuyukh in 
Sudan, Sharif Muhammad al-Amin al-Khatim has written a 
lot of books and poems, in the praising and love of the 
prophet. Among the famous one of his poems, is the ode of 
“cil-Bedaal-Fatimiyya". The following are some of the books 
that he has authored: 

1- Kitab al-Tarbiyya. 

2- kitab al-Tawhid 

3- kitab al-Aqaid 

4- kitab al-Ebadat 

412 Interview with Munaf SharTf al-Nur- Karkoj - 25-10-2013. 


5- kitab al-Qul al-Sadid fi al-Tariq 

6- kitab al-Salcih al-Mubaraka 

7- Kitab al-Salcih al-Kubra 

8- Shefaal-Quluub fi madeh al-Nabi al-Mahabub (Dlwan) 413 . 

Sharif Muhammad al-Amin has passed away in 1976, and 
came to be buried in tomb at Karkog city. 

Figure 5- 34 Sharif Muhammad al-Amm al-Khatim 1905- 1976. 

413 A1-Nur, Munaf a\-Sharif Mohammad al-Amin - al-Kahaf al-Rabani- 
Matabi al-Umla. Khartoum. 2013, p . 75, 76. 

Figure 5- 35 masid Sharif Muhammad al-Amin al-Khatim, 
Sinnar State 

Shaykh Birayer 1823- 1885 

Shaykli Birayer is one of the well-reputed Sammani 
personalities, who has played the greatest role in the 
widespread of the tariqa teachings, across the White Nile and 
Kordofan. He was one of the celebrated followers of Shaykh 
Muhammad Tom w.Bannaqa'. 'His name is Shaykh Birayerw. al- 


Hasin, he belongs to Ja'alin Nefeaeb 414 .He was born, at al- 
Hajjam north of Kordofan in 1823, the very same day, in which 
the qutb Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib has passed away. 
He began his memorization of the Qur'an, under his uncle, 
Shaykh al-Amln w- Arid, the student of Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Tayyib Then he moved to Sayal Karmadin, near al- 
Metamma where he had completed, the memorization of the 
holy book at the hand of Shaykh Ahmad al-Rehaif. The time 
passed by, and then he went to Shaykh Ahmad w.Kannan, at 
al-Kariyba, and under him began the study of the Maliki books 
of fiqh notably, al-Akhadari, al-Ashmawiyyah, and a-Sefti. 
Then, he went to Shaykh Ahmad al-Rayyah al-Araki, at abi- 
Haraz, and under him studied Risalat b. Abi-Zayd al-Qayrwani 
(d. 386/996), as well mukhtar al-Sehah. 

The time rolled on, and the divine providence has taken him, to 
the qutb of his own time, sayyidi Shaykh al-T5m w. Banaqa 
(d. 1851) of whom took the Sammaniyya. After spending seven 
years, with his Shaykh he lastly came to be authorized as a 
Shaykh in the tariqa. The village of wadal-Masalami, near al- 

4 u Mausuat ahal al-Dhiki " bi 11 ’Sudan, Khartoum Vol.l, 2004, p.828. 


Manaqil, where the shrine of his father Shaykh al-Hasin, was 
the next station to Shaykh Birayer to visit and then to stay. 
There he founded a mosque, and khalwas, for the 
memorization of the Qur'an, and the study of science. No 
longer he left the place for some reasons came to be told, in a 
letter wrote to his teacher Shaykh al-Tom. The core idea of the 
whole letter, asking the leave to Bahar Abyacf 15 . With a very 
short concise letter Shaykh al-Tom replied: 'to our son, Shaykh 
Birayer, (may Allah preserve him), go to wherever you will, for 
the desired is Allah'. However, he left to w.Azaki on the White 
Nile, spending few years at the place, after establishing a masTd 
and khalwas. 

Finally, after long journeys across the Sudanese cities and 
villages, extended even to Taqali south of Kordofan, Shaykh 
Birayer came to settle at Shabasha, north of al-Dewem city, 
where he established his main masid, after he settled down 
with his offsprings. Then Shabasha turned a focal point for 
visitors, attracted thousands of thousands of people and 
murids, and came finally to be associated with the name 
Shabasha al-Shaykh Birayer. 

413 Sudanese local language for the White Nile. 

E 493 

Like the tanqa 's other pioneers Shaykh Birayer has left behind 
considerable scientific legacy represented in the following 

1 -Al-Aqeeda (theology) on the Ashari madhab. 

2-Minhat Rab ll'baryyah fi sharh ll'rbain Il'Nowoiyyo. 

S-Shifa ll'qulub (fi Il'taSawwuf). 

A-Sharh wa ta'liqat ala kitab ll'nubdhah ll'teifa II 'Shaykh al- 
Dirrdirfi ll'suluk wa ll'tarbiyya ll'khalwatiyya. 

About the Shaykh scientific efforts he used to teach the holy 
Qur'an with multi varied narrations, accordingly he authorized 
the disciples, and of those who were authorized and turned of 
well-repute was Shaykh al-Fadul w.Numan in Gezira, with his 
famous masid, in addition to masid al-Shiteib that noted one in 
the Sudan. 

The Shaykh used to teach MukhtaSr of Khalil, in the Maliki 
fiqh, and made his students to memorize by using the slates, so 
their memorization included the footnotes and the 

commentaries, of he meant book. In this concern his students 
were distinguished with the righteousness and knowledge. 

Several of the khalwas for teachings the Qur'an and the 
dissemination of ilm and taSawwuf were emerged due the 
blessed efforts of the Shaykh in the Sudan of that noted one is 
Shaykh Ismael al-Busiri at Nuba Mountains, and Shaykh 
Hamid al-Bthani in the Nile River (al-Mahamiyya), and some 
others which were extended across several of Sudan States. 

His sanad in the Maliki modhab and Ashari aqeeda is sublime 
sanad passes through Shaykh al-Binferi, who counted as one 
of Shaykh Ali al-Jhuri Shuyukh, and thus till the sanad ends 
with Imam al-Ashari and Imam Malik to Omer to the prophet. 

The doctrine of the Sufi path of the Shaykh was the 
Sammaniyya Qadiriyya Khalwatiyya doctrine, but it was 
distinguished with accurate scientific method abiding with the 
sharia on both conduct and teachings. The tendency of the 
Shaykh 's scientific method, came as a result that he was 
already known as alim and then entered taSawwuf, for this the 
scientific doctrine prevailed, that meant the tasteful sciences. 

meanings and spiritual states, went with excel on the shario 


sciences . 

Like his teacher Shaykh Birayer came to compose a lot of 
poems, through colloquial language, focus on guidance and 
Suluk, fiqh, tawhid, and the pillars of Islam . Through building 
mosques, masids, and khalwas, the students that who were 
granted ijdza, came to continue the propagation of Islamic 
teachings as well the Sufi doctrine in Kordofan and the White 

In fact the most celebrated and eminent student that he has 
authorized is Shaykh Omer Shaykh Muhammad, who went 
with the nickname rajilal-Keriyda (1842-1933) 417 . 

416 Interviw with Birayer Sa'ad al-Dain, Hasaheisa 31-8-2014 
417 Interview with Shaykh al-Sammani Sa'din - Shabasha-30-10-2013. 


Figure 5- 36 the tomb of Shaykh Birayer 1823- 1885. 

Shaykh Omer Rajil al-Keriyda 1842- 1933 

He is Shaykh Omer b. Shaykh Muhammad b. Shaykh Abd Allah 
al-Safi Ahmad b .ol-soyid Haron b. al-Ajami B. Husuna, the full 
brother of Shaykh Hasanw. Husuna (d.1664). He is Husayni 
Sharif, whose lineage ends with Imam Ja'fer al-Saddiq (702- 
765 AD). He was born at the village of Kabo, near Bara in the 
year 1842. He memorized the Qur'an with the narrations of 

Hafs and al-Duri, and studied the Maliki books of fiqh under 


Shaykh Muhammad w.Dulyab (d.1883) at the village of 
Khursi 418 . He was study-mate to Shaykh of Islam Muhammad 
al-Badawi (1898), for he met him at the very same place. He 
was authorized in the Maliki madhab, by his teacher Shaykh 

Shaykh Omer set an example of the true Siifi, striving in 
adhkar, his wird in the prayer upon the prophet, every night 
was twelve thousand, while his wird of Doloil al-Khirat was 
sixteen time during the daytime. On the outer space of Khursi, 
Shaykh Omer used to go on long periods of seclusion. Because 
of an excellent and good performance that he had exhibited, 
Shaykh Omer came to replace his Shaykh, in teaching the 
students, inside the masid. Since he held the interest to take 
the Siifi path, so he had asked his Shaykh w.Dulayb, who was a 
Tijani, to initiate him a member in the tariqa, but the Shaykh 

By Ishdra he went and took the Sufi path, at the hand of the 
well-noted wall Shaykh Birayer (1823-1933). With whom he 
came to spend eighteen years, during which he had engaged. 



An area in North of Kordofan. 

in ceaseless periods of spiritual struggles, and the brethren 
service. Soon after Shaykh Birayer had authorized this special 
student, as a Sammani Shaykh, he gave him a rolled banner, 
and asked not to be opened, only in Kordofan. He stayed at al- 
Qashab village for a period of time, and at this place, he was 
blessed with a male- boy, named him al-Hasin. Sadly he died at 
the early of his age. After that he left to wad-Ginjari in Gezira 
region, and from there he finally, came and settled in al-Kawa, 
on the western bank of the White Nile. From al-Kawa, his 
traveling journey had rested on al-Keryida. The masid as well 
the Qur'anic khalwas had been established, at the place, which 
in fact is a name of a plant, grown on the coast of the White 

By the passing of the time, al-Keryida has turned a place of 
attraction, to the seekers of truth, and guidance. Students from 
all walks of life, counted with millions, meant this blessed 
place, asking the initiation in the Sufi path. Shaykh Omer had 
followed special method, in educating his murids, for he always 
involved in encouraging them, to uphold with the adab of the 
tariq, and seeking knowledge, inciting them to strive, with the 
spirit of sincerity and truthfulness in the path, and to remain 

engrossed in the remembrance of Allah, and never waste their 
time in worldly fun, and games, distance themselves away of 
indulging in futile debate and vain argument. He also strongly 
used to recommend them of observing the virtue of loving in 
Allah,' "Love for the Sake of Almighty Allah and Hate for the 
Sake of Allah. "Shaykh Omer had been granted with the 
steadfast and firm foot in the walTya and guidance. He was 
supported with the occurrence of countless of manifested 
karamat. Throughout his blessed khalifate he has given the 
grand ijaza of guidance, to several of notable and famous 
students, of them: Shaykh al-Jezuli, Shaykh Fadal Allah Azraq 
Mouiya- Shaykh Abd-Rahim w.-Hajj- and Shaykh Muhammad 
Waqi Allah (d.1944), the famous wall, and the father of the 
well-reputed Shaykh Abd al-Rahim al-Burai (1923-2005). 
Shaykh Omer has passed away in 1933, and came to be 
succeeded by his son Shaykh Birayer 419 . 

419 Interview with Mohammad Ahmed -al-Keryida- 1-11-2013. 


Figure 5- 37 masid of Shaykh Omer Rajil al-Keriyda 1842- 1933, 
the White Nile. 

Shaykh Muhammad Waqi Allah 1865- 1944 

Shaykh Muhammad Waqi Allah was born in 1865 during the 
Turkish - Egyptian rule. Several of the visions seen by his 
mother and many of the good tidings of the righteous at the 
time, had gone to predicate his righteousness and exalted 
position among the awaUyd'. Shaykh Muhammad had received 
the ilm and knowledge under alfageh Adam al-T5m b. al-Haj al- 


Nur, and Shaykh al-Shanf al-Juzuli the Tijani in tanqa , who 
lived near Bara. 

During the early years of his age, Shaykh Muhammad used to 
go on longer travel of spiritual training; this was before his 
initiation in the Sufi path. He spent longer periods on spiritual 
wandering and travelling to the point that his relatives had 
made him mourning for they consider his passing away, this 
after they lost the hope of his coming. At the village of al- 
Shukaba at the central of Sudan, Shaykh Muhammad came to 
spent years. It was narrated that during his stay in the village, a 
group of visitors had meant his residence, as the custom ran 
the Shaykh went on honouring them, but he found nothing to 
honour them, it was said the guests were in dire need for food. 
However, the Shaykh found no way but the thought of hosting 
his guests with marisa 420 , consequently he went to the place 
where it sold, but within his arrival there he found the place 
had been emptied of any drop ofmarisa. However, he back 
home upset, and entered into his khowla did not know what to 
do. No long but a woman came carried a bowel on her head 
with a food sufficed many of people. She told them that she 

420 Sudanese local wine purely made from dura. 

had been sent by her guardian, but till now no person knows 
who is neither she nor who her guardian was. 

At the village of w- Gingari the divine will had joint him with 
true guide Sharif Omer al-Safi his future Shaykh. As student he 
came to spend many years rendered the service to him, and 
that after had been initiated him into the Sammaniyya . Among 
the several of the students, Shaykh Muhammad Waq Allah 
was the eminent. He was of much travelling in spiritual journey 
or wandering. The Shaykh had realized the grand of the 
gnostics status, then he finally instructed to go to his own 
people calling for Allah and guidance. Before leaving he was 
provided a banner inherited from the qutb Shaykh Ahmad al- 
Badwi. He came to establish his own masid at al-Zariba. Prior to 
his coming the area was dominated with ignorance and some 
traditions and customs which contradicted with the religion. 
The wine was so prevailing it used to be made hardly at each 
house, and came to represent a portion of the daily food. What 
is so strange is that the person who invites people for his 
wedding, if he did not come to serve his visitors with wine, 

they did not respond to his visit. The situation continued till the 
coming of al-Buri who told them that the wine is haram 421 . 

However, the Shaykh went to educate and enlightening his 
people through the learning sessions that he used to hold, his 
relatives, sons and friends were among the present. Therefore, 
the strong solid education background came to serve Shaykh 
al-Burai in his missionary task of guidance, as well to his full 
brother al-Khidir who went to al-Azhar to pursue Bachelor in 
Sharia sciences, he came to stress that the ilm that he had 
received from his father had sufficed him. 

The Shaykh was an example to the generous, ascetic, humble 
Sujt. He used to feed himself and the masid from what he and 
his murids cultivate, and he used to go to collect wood for 
making food. In guidance he had followed special doctrine 
among that society, based on establishing the learning circles, 
focusing on how one establishing his own Salat, and adhkdr, he 
used simply to encourage the people to offer prayer upon the 
prophet, maintaining of repeating al-Hasbala and tahlil. Shaykh 

421 Abdr-Rahim Haj Ahmed. Burl al-Sudan Waqcifat ala Shall Irthahu wa 
Harthahu , al-Sabat, Khartou, 2009. pp. 23-24. 


Muhammad had been assassinated by a mad man in 1944 422 . 
However, with consensus of his brothers, relatives and murids 
Shaykh al-Buri comes to be his successor. 

Shaykh Abdr-Rahim al-Burai 1923- 2005 

Shaykh Abdr-Rahim al-Burai considers one of the most recent 
influential charismatic Sammani personalities. Who appears not 
only as spiritual leader, but also a social reformer. In terms of 
some researchers and observers to the Sufi movement in 
Sudan, Shaykh al-Buri during 1990s and early 2000s turned a 
phenomenon, a media star, and stood as a whole institution. 
The branch of the Shaykh al-Burai masTd of the tarlqa 
Sammaniyya is established, in the village of al-Zariyba, more 
than one hundred and fifty years ago, by Shaykh Muhammad 
Waiqi Allah, located in Northern Kordofan State, and north- 
east of al-Obied. Al-Zariyba represents a centre for many 
villages surrounding it. The place lies on a sandy land in a poor 
savanna region. The masid like the other masids in Sudan 
comes to play a significant role, with a different educational, 
socio- cultural and economical function in the area. When the 


Ibid:24, 25. 

founder of the masid Shaykh Muhammad passed away 
( 1944 ), he comes to be succeeded by a son that became of 
wide fame, not only in Sudan, his home land, but in the global 
scene. Shaykh al-Burai was born in 1923 in al-Zariyba village, 
about 120 kilometers, southeast of Al Obeid, capital of North 
Kordofan State. At the prime of his age, Shaykh al-Burae 
memorized the Qur'an, and studied the science under his 
father Shaykh Muhammad Waiq Allah (d.1944). He was well- 
versed at the science of hadith prophetic traditions, sirrah, 
fiqh, and Arabic language. Moreover, Shaykh al-Burae took 
also the knowledge from the excellent famous books, and the 
impact of this was very clear in the poems that he composed. 
Al-Burai emerged as a Sufi leader, who was truly dedicated 
himself to the service of Islam and Sufism. He became well 
known not only in Kordofan, but his fame covered almost all 
parts of Sudan, as well as many other parts of the Arab world. 
Beside his religious and asceticism practice, he became famous 
for his poems, that were sung almost everywhere in Sudan, 
through his followers as well as through mass media. And 
wrote many songs and poetry to convey Islam's basic teachings 
and principles. His poems are commonplace on Sudan's State- 

run airwaves 423 . Though his beginnings were humble, he was to 

L L 

become the most beloved Sudanese Shaykh of the late 20 


and early 21 centuries, with a popularity that far exceeded 
the adepts he accepted into his tariqa. Al-Burai consistently 
served two not-unrelated roles: on the one hand, he lived the 
life of a traditional Sufi Shaykh , meeting the spiritual (and 
sometimes material) needs of his followers, in his desert home 
of al-Zaryiba: While on the other hand, he became a media star 
and a figure of natural import, the face of Sufi Islam plastered 
on the backs of buses and the walls of home and business across 
northern Sudan. The latter role he owed in great measure to the 
popularity of his poetry, a corpus that most Sudanese 
encountered through recorded versions, put to the beats of the 

423 Abdel- Rahim Wagie Allah A1 
Burai one of the prominent Sufi leaders in Sudan Date: Monday, February 
21 @ 05:22:58 UTC. 

traditional taar drum and even to the sounds of the Sudanese 

• 424 

pop music . 

Al-Zariba masid has done great efforts to clear out the illiteracy 
of a lot of children, who are not only those who are in the 
surrounding areas, but the children from the far away districts. 

It is well-known that illiteracy in the Sudan is over 80%, and the 
capacity of the elementary schools is far beyond the children 
population who are seven years of age, then we could notice 
the considerable contribution of such institutions, bearing in 
mind that there are many other institutions all over the Sudan. 
Secondly, if we think about the social functions which are 
carried out by al-Zariba as an institution, we notice that it has 
many contributions in this aspect, but here within I shall direct 
the attention to very specific samples. For example this 
institution as a place being open for different ethnic groups 
and nevertheless it encourages Sudanese people without any 
sign of racial discrimination to come and unite together as 
Muslims in one social society, looking only one at the benefits 

424 Robert S. Kramer‘Richard Andrew Lobb an ‘Carolyn Fluehr- 

Lobban, Historical Dictionary of the Sudan, Scarecrow press,Inc, Maryland, 
2013, p.99. 

that they could do for themselves by such unity, and all people 
having equal rights, without any differentiation on ethnic basis 
concerning marriage or work. This for sure diminishes racial 
crises. Shaykh Al-Bura'e was advocating co-operative marriage 
of more than one thousand of youth who are lodging in villages 
around Al-Zariba. This means that more than five hundred new 
families were added to the society. Also if we put in mind the 
AIDS disease which is the global illness of today. For sure this 
institution had given the society one of the disease deterrents 
by keeping the sexual need to be within the family and thus the 
community health has been served 425 . 'But the masid was also a 
centre of traditional Islamic learning, strengthening and 
renewing the inherited but fragile cultural identity of these 
mostly rural Muslims. At different levels, there was the basic 
committing to memory of the Koran for elementary students, 
then the study of hadith (a narration on the life of the Prophet) 
and of fiqh law (law interpreted from the Koran by elders; not 
the more hardline shariah law) for the more mature, and, for 
the more advanced, even commentaries on the Koran and 

42 'Farah, Eisa Mohamad. Al-Zariba: A case study, published paper. Institute 
of African and Asian studies. University of Khartoum, 21-23- March, 2006, 

books of Sufism 426 . Shaikh Al-Bur'ai (1923-2005) is one of the 
most celebrated Shaikhs of the Sammaniyya Sufi order in 
Sudan. He managed to establish an open edged bariqa that 
attracted sections of the educated Sudanese middle class. 
Started as an individual S a mmani order Shaikh in 1944, Shaikh 
Al- Bur'ai gradually became popular for his unusual abilities of 
karama making, healing and mediation in tribal conflict. During 
the 1980s he was able to achieve wide popularity among the 
middle class, as his poetry was broadcasted, published and 
propagated by the media. In 1990s, Shaikh Al-Bur'ai appeared 
as a celebrated national figure who had strong ties with most 
Sudanese politicians either in the Sudanese government of the 
Ingazh regime or in the opposition circles. Shaikh al Bur'ai 
practiced politics not as a politician but as a social reformer. 
Those poems were also picked up, by many young Sudanese 
singers, and spread throughout the Sudan, and in all social 
sectors. They were cured without, even having to go for 
medical treatment. It happened also to a number of foreigners, 
from Egypt and some Arab countries. He was quite famous in 

426 http://www. 
often-portrayed-as-a-real m . 

Saudi Arabia, for having extraordinary powers for curing and 
healing. He had also some extraordinary powers, for relieving 
distress, calamities, and problems. All through his life, Shaykh 
Al-Burai has been known, for charity, teaching Koran and 
religious knowledge. In addition to that he had contributed 
greatly towards the establishment of schools, religious 
institutes, mosques, hospitals and health centers, digging wells 
for drinking water, in many towns and villages, all over the 
Sudan. He also made considerable donations, for many social 
service projects, and had supported great numbers of students, 
and pupils, in all education stages. In Zariba he provides 
lodging, as well as subsistence for hundreds of students, and 
Koran reciters in the various Koranic khalwas. Al-Buraei had 
hosted hundreds of disciples from west and east Africa, as well 
as Sudanese seeking to study Islam's holy book - the Qur'an - 
and other Islamic principles 427 . When Jayli's grandfather 
established the mosque and school at Zariba, the area had 
been a notorious bad land of robber-nomads: this Sufi centre 
had spear-headed a more settled and lawful life among local 
tribesmen. Initially, it was not easy to gain their confidence, 

427 http://gmsudan. com/20 13 1028/middle-class-and-Suffsm-thecase-study- 

1 ^^ 511 

but the first Shaykh visited their families and invited all to 
meals of honey and roast meats, until they began to treat the 
masid as their own centre. A market had grown up outside the 
walls, allowing not only students but also locals to dabble in 
commerce, so that the spread of Islam was accompanied by 
the growth of trade 428 . In fact Shaikh Al Bur'ai attracted the 
Sudanese masses in general and the educated groups in 
particular. Shaikh Al Bur'ai had different categories of disciples: 
1) Audience of his poetry ( Madih ) that represents the wider 
group throughout the Sudan. They include Sufis and non-Sufis. 
By virtue most of them are not of the Sammaniyya order. Here 
the media played a great role in spreading his Madih 
throughout the National Radio and TV. Most of this category 
did not visit Shaikh Al Bur'ai, but they are guided by his Madih. 
They represent higher number than those disciples found in 
Kordofan.2) Visitors ( Ashab Al Hagat) who come to Shaikh Al 
Bur'ai in order to find solutions for their own individual 
problems and they represent closer circle than his poetry 



audience. Also they are composed of Sufis and non- Sufis and 
from different political backgrounds. Most of them believe that 
Shaikh Al Bur'ai possesses baraka and his wishes are divinely 
accepted. Most of them ask him to recite the Holy inauguration 
of Qur'an seeking their different wishes to be fulfilled. This 
category is mostly from the educated group. 3) Closer circle 
who usually come to Shaikh Al Bur'ai in order to pray with him. 
In Al Zariyba center, most of these categories are from 
Kordofan. Also they consider Shaikh Al Bur'ai as a general 
individual faki.. 4) The closer circle of his disciples who were 
initiated into Sufi path by Shaikh Al Bur'ai. They represent his 
Sufi disciples. By virtue all of them are Sammanis and they are 
very close to him. 

Shaykh Al-Burae is one of the great men of the Sudan and 
Africa. This is not for the reason of his too much money or 
wealth, but because of his simplicity and humility, his love for 
the people rich, poor without discrimination or ethnicity nor of 
tribe, he was an example of unity. What attracted the middle 
class to the doctrine of Shaikh Al Bur'ai is absence of rigid 
membership and rigid obligations of Shari'a. Anyone can follow 
the teachings found in the poetry and Madih of Shaikh Al 

Bur'ai. The litanies of Shaikh Al Bur'ai provided the middle class 
achieve individual solutions to their problems. Through his 
strong links with Head of States (Nimeiri and Al Bashir") and 
state ministers, Al Bur'ai was able to help thousands of those 
came to him seeking his help either by using his contacts to 
solve their problems or by giving them financial support. 
Shaikh Al Bur'ai's contacts enabled him to help many of those 
laid off for public use by the state to be appointed in different 

The doctrine followed by Shaykh al-Burai has been pointed out 
by Amani. M.Obeid (2013:14) she writes "The doctrine of 
Shaikh Al-Bur'ai represents a moderate Sufi doctrine. Shaikh Al 
Bur'ai by his insistence on the mediation of the Prophet 
directly represents neo -Sufi link and not through mediation of 
the holymen, a fact that attracted the educated middle class. 
The Sufi order of Shaikh Al Bur'ai is an openedged tdriqa. In 
other words its membership is open for any person. Hewas not 
outside the boundaries of the Islamic law (Shari'a) however; he 
adopted Kardmaas a basic concept in Sufism. Shaikh Al Bur'ai 
combined the essence of Sudanese Sufism found in the 
descriptions of w. Dhayf Allah in the seventeenth century 


which is full of kararna (miracles) doing with the characteristics of 
the iw7/T-Scholar of the neo-Sufi tarlqas of the nineteenth and 
twentieth centuries represented by the Sammaniyya tariqa. 

The vacuum created by the retreat of political parties and civil 
society as a result of the coup d'etat of the Ingazh government 
was filled by small Stiff orders in general and Shaikh Al-Bur'ai in 
particular. The charity work of Shaikh Al Bur'ai and his Sufi 
associations that provided health care, education and projects for 
low cost marriages filled this vacuum. Associations made by Shaikh 
Al-Bur'ai were meant to organize the marginalized strata of the 
middle class into societal actions and not political actions 429 . Out of 
the thousands of his poems, just the author has chosen the ode of 
1 uureka tebak', to be healthy well secured: 

Now follows Boraie’s Sermon: 

To be healthy well secured 
Be good to your enemies 
Those been true and good 
Always remember Lord 
Remember your own one God 

429 Amani M. El-Obeid, Middle Class and Sufism: Why Shaikh al-Bur’ai was 
appealing to the Sudanese Middle Class, published paper. 2013 : 14. 


Don't also forget death , 

The big gain to your good health 4 * 0 . 

The traveller and the journalist Swonel ( ) who spent more than 
three days at al-Zariyba in an article published by the 
Independent British newspaper sees that if the visitor was not at 
al-Zariyba for Allah, there was no way to for very long, he 
writes: 'We were taken on a tour of Zariba, which was very 
beautiful on its simplicity. There were no distractions here at 
Zariba, no games to play, or music to listen to, or films to 
watch, or novels to read; no daily newspapers or favourite 
programmes on the television; no sidewalk cafes or shops in 
which to pass the time of the day; not even a small friendly 
neighbourhood supermarket. If you were not at Zariba for 
Allah, there was no way; you could stay at Zariba for very 
long 4 ' 1 . In their book al-Burai rajnl al-Waqat, al-Buni and Sa’id 
have commented 'One of the Shaykh Al-Bura'e contributions in 
changing the ( Madih ), musical style is his adaptation of 

430 Idris, El-Banna. A Sudanese view of comparative poetry. Ahfad 
University for women- Khartoum. 2002, p.122/23. 



traditional songs melody and rhythm. Such changes become 
artistically very attractive and appreciable to the youth, 
especially when listening to them from Awald Al-Bura'e who 
are professional Madih group of performers established by 
their Shaykh personally to chant his Madih 432 . 

Shaikh A1 Bur’ai started as a Sammani individual Shaikh but 
later developed a doctrine that tried to unite the doctrines of all 
Sufi tanqas in Sudan. He became representative of all Sudanese 
Sufi tariqa , as he used to initiate different disciples into 
different tanqas. He was able to initiate disciples into the 
Qadiriyya, the Tijaniyya and the Khatmiyya in addition to the 
Sammaniyya. These disciples continue to be Shaikh A1 Bur’ai’s 
disciples. Shaykh has been awarded many honourary doctorates 
from many of famous Sudanese universities, such as the Islamic 
University of Omdunnan, University of Gezira and University 
of Kordofan. As well he has been awarded the medal of science 
from the government of Sudan, and the medal of excellence 
from the president of Egypt republic. 

Abundantly praising as celebrated accomplished poet, Shaykh 
al-Burai has written the following diwdns: 


I bid :11 


diwan 's name 





Ryad aljuna 






aljawhr al- 







= = 



Our at al- 

— — 



Kami wa 

= = 




Sirrat al- 



Burik tibak 

Wa'z wa 




Fi madih al- 



Misr al- 






Waqi Allah 




Tala Allah 
La illah i/a 

Fiqh al- 


01 433 

Diagram 9 Burai's poetic diwans 

433 Abdr-Rahim Haj Ahmed. Buri al-Sudan Waqafat ala Shati Irthahu wa 
Harthahu , al-Sabat, Khartoum, 2009. P: 214. 


After al-Burai’s death in February of 2005, his leadership was 
succeeded by his son al-Fatih, but as of 2011, Shaykh al-Fatih 
has got to gain national prominence of his late father 4 ,4 . 

Figure 5- 38 Shaykh Abdr-Rahim al-Burai 1923- 2005, North 
Kordofan State. 

434 Robert S. KramenRi chard Andrew Lobbam Carolyn Fluehr- 
Lobban, Historical Dictionary of the Sudan, Scarecrow press, 
Inc, Maryland, 2013, p.99. 

Figure 5-39 the tombs of Shaykh Muhammad Waqi Allah and 
his son Shaykh Abdr-Rahim al-Burai 1923- 2005, North 
Kordofan State. 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Nur w.Arabi- d. 1862 

He is Shaykh Muhammad al-Nur Ahmad (1862). 
Al-Arabi is nickname for his father. He was bom in Matuuq. 
His is Bakri for his family ends with sayidna Abu-Bakr al- 
Sediq (634-573), the first caliph, to the prophet of Islam . Since 
Sinnar, was the capital of the State, and because of the presence 
of the ulama there, Shaykh Muhammad Nur who was very fond 
of knowledge, used and from now and then, visiting the meant 


city. During this time, it was said, he also used to visit, Shaykh 
Muhammad al-Tom w.Bannqa (d. 1 85 1 ), and at every visit, to 
the Shaykh he came to be asked taking the Sufi tar it/, but he 
used to decline, and out of modesty excusing that the tariq 
necessitates the adab , which he lacks, as he thought. It was said 
that the Shaykh, told him that, he was pardoned of observing the 

Days and months passed by and he (Shaykh al-Nur) yielded to 
the divine Will and accepted to take the pledge, it was narrated 
that, he engaged as a sincere murid ,and went on to realize, the 
reality of fasawwuf, to the point that, the fuqara, went to call 
him, Shaykh al-adab, the Shaykh of courtesy. Out of the noted 
students that had been authorized by Shaykh Muhammad Tom, 
Shaykh al-Nur had managed to occupy special place at the heart 
of the Shaykh, who loved him dearly, to the extent that one day, 
Shaykh came to address his students, by saying: 'I have loved 
my son Muhammad Nur, to the point if my thumb being 
opened, they will find Muhammad Nur inside. And I have 
attained three- hundred and sixty men, to the messenger of 
Allah, and I had made Muhammad Nur, the jewel- seller, over 
them'. It was also narrated that, Shaykh Muhammad Nur had 
accompanied, his Shaykh for thirty years, and in many cases, he 

used to be deputized in the different occasions. Later on Shaykh 
al-Nur came to Rayba, which is in the west of Sinnar city, about 
two miles, to establish his own masld 435 . 'My master Shaykh al- 
Nur lived, his traditional life by teaching the Qur'an, to the 
Muslim's sons, and incited as well encouraged the murids , to 
strive in the path of Allah. He was a man of several 
extraordinarily acts and karamat , came to be a proof of his 
righteousness, purity and sincerity, and finally came to make 
him the unique of his own time' 

In fact Shaykh al-Nur has many students come to represent the 
teachings of his Sammani fariq, among the most famous of 
them, is Shaykh al-Imam Qadir Wall (1819-M916/17), the 
grandfather of Shaykh al-Yaqoot, of the active branch of the 
Sammaniyya on the White Nile. Shaykh al-Nur spent the rest of 
his life at Rayba, until of his passing away in 1862. At the time 
of his death, he left behind, small boy, with name of al-Tayyib, 
who came to be his first successor 4 " 6 . 

435 Interview with al-Fakl Abdr-Rahman- Ryyiba- 22-9-2013. 

436 Hanan Haju Shaykh Abdr-Rahman, MA partial research, U of K, faculty 
of Arts, archaeology section, 2004, p.33. 


Figure 5- 40 the tomb of Shaykh Muhammad al-Nur w.Arabi- 
d. 1862, Sinnar State. 

Shaykh al-lmam Qader Wall 1819-1916/17 

The grand Shaykh and qutb, al-lmam was bom at Tuti Island, in 
(1235 A.H-1819). His full name is Shaykh al-lmam b. Shaykh 
Gadir al-Wall al-Jaylli b. Muhammad b. Balul b. 
Abdr-Rahman. Known with nickname of (Abu-Shanab). He was 


born to Khazrj Ansari family. His genealogy ends with the 
prophet companion, my master Ubai b. Ka'ab. From his mother 
side, he is Jurnmui, ends with our master al-Abbas b.Abd al- 
Mutalib (569-653. A.D). 

The family of Shaykh al-Imam is known with its dominance 
and its outstanding position in the science of haqiqa and sharia. 
This family has given great men, who were the prominent 
leaders, at their own time, not only this, but they becomeone of 
the foundations and base, in the various grand sciences such as 
fiqh , hadith , tafslr , in addition to their recognitions of the ha tin 
science. The great impact of the Shaykh al-Imam could be 
noticed on the grand men who came to mark their names in the 
pages of history of them Shaykh Arbab al-Aqa'id (1601-1696), 
Shaykh Idris Abu-Firka (1650), Shaykh Khojali abu-Ajaz 
(1654), and Shaykh Hamad w.Um-Marium (1645/6-1 729/30). 

From his younger age, as a child Shaykh al-Imam, appeared 
extremely gifted, known with a clear, open-mind, intelligent, a 
man of heart presence and thought. His father took him, outside 
of Tuti Island, and enrolled him, in the khalwa of 'Um-Shabae' 
on the White Nile, south of Jebal awliya; there he studied the 
Qur'an under Shaykh Musa al-Aghabash. It was so obvious 
from the outset, his excel over his peers, was a surprise for his 


teacher. Intuitively and out of his experience, Shaykli realized 
what a promising future, waiting this student. He went further 
with his admiration, to the extent that, he decided to many him, 
one of his daughters, but the student declined, excusing that the 
Shaykh's daughter is his sister, and her father is his Qur'an 
teacher. Soon later Shaykli al-Imam moved to Tayyiba al- 
Shaykli Abd al-Baqi and enrolled in its khalwa , in which and in 
a short period, came to complete his memorization of the 
Qur'an. Because of his great concern to knowledge, Shaykli 
went to al-Masalamiyya, and there he studied at the hand of 
Shaykli Ahmad Zaruq, the science oifiqh, the creed, language, 
hadith , exegesis tafsTr. In addition to his excel in the science of 
shari'a , he was also known with his excel in the inner science. 

When the time of initiation in the Sufi path called, the 
providence has taken him, to Shaykli Muhammad Nur 
(d.1862), the famous student of Shaykli al-Tom w.Banaqa 
(d. 1851), whose masid at the village of Rayba. His arrival there, 
was coincided with one of the religious festivals, it was eid. 
Shaykli initiated this special student, at the pariq of qawm , and 
gave him the Shaykhdom ijaza, at that very same day. The 
presence had surprised of this incident, that is because the man's 
feet had never set the soil of the masid before, finally the 

Shaykh addressed them, with a word tells, that special place of 
the new student by saying: 'I didn't authorized like him, and I 
will never authorized like him'. From there Shaykh al-Imam 
returned to the White Nile, to establish his own masid in a 
village comes to carry his name. In short period of time, his 
name becomes on the lips of the people there. His fame spread 
as one of the pillars in the science of tasawwuf among the 

The presence of the grand ustaz Shaykh al-Imam, in the White 
Nile area, was a rescue to its inhabitants, from the threat of 
ignorance, so his presence there was a mercy to them. The 
influence of the Shaykh there was touchable as well so strong, 
for even the illiterate used to quote him, in the religious 


matters 1 . T have met many of his faqirs , when you come to 
argue with them, they used to Suffice by saying, I have heard 
our father Shaykh al-Imam, said so and so. The woman had a 
presence in his scientific lessons circles that he used to hold. 
Among the women, that had the opportunity of attending these 
sessions was the daughter of the Shaykh himself, and the 
grandmother of the current khalifa , Shaykh al-Yaqoot. If you 

437 Article written by Shaykh al-Yaqoot Shaykh Mahammad Shaykh Malik 
2013 . 


have the experience of meeting her, you will come to listen to a 
person, speaking in an arranged, organized way in such a 
scholarly manner. I (al-Fakl) asked her, and in my mind, 
undoubtedly the presence of the men, Tell me, my mother, how 
you used to sit, during the time of the lesson' she told ' my 
father used to put a tobe as a curtain, between us and the men'. 
Al-Fakl went to tell that Sliaykh Ibrahim one of the Shaykh 
known murids , told him one day that, the illustrious scholar 
Shaykh al-Nazir w.Khalid, heard about the wide fame of 
Shaykh al-Imam, and how people in individual and in groups 
had flocked to him. So, he decided to come and see, saying to 
his ownself that Shaykh al-Imam was not one of the students of 
the reputed noted ulama that he knows. Thus, equipped with 
books and references he came to the masid of the Shaykh , with 
the intention that if he found him ignorant, he will be guided to 
the right path. It happened that when he reached the masid., he 
finds the Shaykh in a learning session, with his students, so he 
sat until the Shaykh finished his lesson. Then for three 
successive days, without argument, but sufficed with silence, 
the scholar went in the attendance to the Shaykh's lessons. On 
the third day he revealed his secret, to the Shaykh and said: 'I 
came here with the intention of testing you, but I had found that 


the speech that you had said absolutely I had no idea about it, 
and the speech that I know, thoroughly known to you'. 

An intimate and cordial relationship had joint Shaykli al-knam 
with the gnostic and the well-repute wall, Shaykh Abd al- 
Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im. there is saying attributed to Shaykh 
al-Imam, in this concern about the sons of Shaykli al-Tayyib of whom certainly is Shaykh Abd al -Mahmoud, he 
said about them, 'They are Banasab, burufuae, abjazam' he 
added, 'abjazam is Shaykh Abdal-Mahmoud' People asked him, 
but you forget a word, they meant 'bi khefid', he responded 'bi 
khefid , among Shaykh's al-Tayyib sons is not found'. It was also 
reported that Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud had said, about his 
tanqa and that one, of Shaykh al-Imam: 'The fanqa of Shaykh 
al-Imam, and that one of mine, is like the two authentic books 
of hadith i.e of al-Bukhari and Muslim'. 

Several murids and students reaping the benefit of their blessed 
company of Shaykh al-Imam, among the famous students, 
Shaykh Ali wad- Badi, who later came to be his poet, and of 
the students also comes Shaykh al-Bashir, who founded a 
village carried his name, in the west of Jebal Awliya. While of 
his descendants and offsprings, who achieved the highest status, 

and established branches of their own, Shaykh al-Dirdiri, full 
brother of Shaykh Malik, whose fame fills the space, in addition 
to their brother Shaykh al-Tayyib, who set up an independent 
mas id. Shaykh al-Imam has passed away in 1335 A.H, at the age 
of hundred, and came to be succeeded with his righteous son, 
the wall and the gnostic Shaykh Malik ' . 

Shaykh al-Yaqoot Shaykh Muhammad 1944 - 

He is Shaykh al-Yaqoot b. Shaykh Muhammad b. Shaykh Malik 
b. Shaykh al-Imam Qader Wall (1819-1916/17). His lineage 
ends with the prophet's companion Ubai b.Ka'ab al-Khazrji. He 
was bom at the village of al-Rawda, south of Jebal awalTya. He 
began his religious education, at the khalwa of his father, and 
received the sciences of fiqh, tafsir and the science of tasawwuf 
from different notable ularna. Under Shaykh Muhammad Ali 
Bayan, he studied tafsir and fiqh. 

Since his early childhood, Shaykh al-Yaqoot has led an 
excellent pattern of life. As a young boy he hasa very good 
manner that encompassed humility, patience, quietness, 
generosity, courage and love for learning. As customary in most 

438 Interview with Shaykh Mohammad Ahmed al-FakT- Shaykh al-Yaqoot 
village- 4-10-2013. 


scholarly families, Shaykh al-Yaqoot started his childhood 
education at his father's khalwa, where he completed his studies 
of the Qur’an. He has grown up, as a lover of dhikr ,and to the 
sacred book, the holy Qur'an, who came to memorize, at the 
very early years of his blessed age. The Shaykh is very a active 
in performing the religious acts of devotion. 

Shaykh al-Yaqoot places great emphasis, on the acquiring of 
knowledge, taking from the verse 'Say you, 'This is my way; I 
call towards Allah. I and those who follow my footsteps have 
insight. And holy is Allah: and I am not an associators'. a 
doctrine, so he grew up with deep love for learning and 
knowledge, honours and supports its own seekers, and ulama , 
generously you find him gives what in his hands, for students, 
of different stages and levels. Such was his doctrine as well of 
his righteous own predecessors. Despite the Shaykh's full-busy 
day, he used to specify time for reading, and writing. I (the 
author) have given a manuscript comprising of approximately 
more than pages, written by the Shaykh on Islamic 
mysticism, entitled Haqiqat al-TaSawwnf al-Kuhrah;(T\\Q grand 
Reality of Tasawwuf ), Shaykh began this great excepted 
valuable work in 1992. 

One of the sights, which draw the attention of the visitor, to 
masid Shaykh al-Yaqoot, is that huge and rich scholarly library. 
As I see (the author) it is the largest personal library, which I 
have ever seen. I was told by one of the students, who in charge 
of running the library, that the library contained around 10.000 
volumes and magazines, in Islamic jurisprudence, Qur'anic 
exegesis, prophetic traditions, history, literature, astronomy 
among other fields of knowledge 4 ,9 . 

In fact, part of the Shaykh’s vivid and living contributions to 
this active branch of the Sammaniyya, is in the area of the 
tariqa's remembrances and aw rad. The living example of his 
ijithad, in this regard is found in the booklet of al-Mihat al- 
Illahiyya ft aw rad al-Tanqa al-Sammdniyyah, a collections of 
adhkar and aw rad for the tariqa’s followers. Since the 
philosophy of the Shaykh in guidance, based on the adherence 
with the scientific method, therefore ulamd, used to be invited, 
for teaching and giving lessons. The Shaykh personally and 
from the earliest years of his blessed khalifiate used to give 
lessons, on Sufism and fiqh, as well he used to provide the 
Quranic students with the opportunity of correcting and revising 
their reading on him. Meanwhile the ever-long scientific session 

439 Interview withYasir Abd Allah- Shaykh al-Yaqoot village -5-10-2013 


of the ularna , was that one of Shaykli Hamid Ahmad Babikr, 
for he has finished with the teaching as well commentaries, 
more than one time the Maliki books of fiqh notably al'zziyah , 
al-Shmawiya, and al-Risala. Following the scientific doctrine 
the masid also used to commemorate and celebrate the different 
Islamic occasions. A scientific method also follows. A scholar 
is brought to give a lecture, on any of the Islamic or Sufi topics. 
This is the way of Shaykli al-Yaqoot, since he assumed the 
office of the tariqa as khalifa, to his father in 1963. Shaykli al- 
Yaqoot has granted ijaza to many students, among them 
Dr.MuStafa al-Tayyib- Shaykh Muhammad al-MuStafa al- 
Yaqooti, the current endowments and religious affairs minister, 
Khartoum State- Shaykli Hamid Ahmad Babikr, the famous 
Maliki scholar, lastly not least, was Shaykh Tariq Hassb Allah, 
the eminent scholar, who has recently passed away. Shaykh al- 
Yaqoot having primary precept, which is "Transferring the 
abstract knowledge, to emotion and interaction 440 . 

440 Interview withYasir Abd Allah- Shaykh al-Yaqoot village -5-10-2013 


Figure 5-41 the author with Shaykh al-Yaqoot Shaykh 
Muhammad, October 2013- White Nile. 

Shaykh Talha 1812- 1875 

He is the founder of the village of Shaykh Talha (Sinnar 
State - south of Sinnar city, on the western bank of the Blue 
Nile, 12 kilometres]. His full name is Shaykh Talha b. 
Husayin, b. Suliman b. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Saiyh, better 
known with (Wajj and said Hai] b. Abd Allah b. Muhammad 
Haya al-Muntasir Li llah b. Hasan b. Ibrahim b. Muhammad,. 
He is Husiyni, his lineage ends with Imam Husiyan b. Ali b. 


Abi-Talib. His family came from Arab peninsula via Egypt for 
the dawah.Upon his family arrival to Sudan firstly came to 
settled at Dongola, during the reign of Aiwa kingdom (1318- 
1505), more specifically in Tamnar area, at Donogla al-Urdi. 
He was a State clerk, married from that Island, and was 
given a male-boy, when he reached the age of fourteen; he 
migrated to Sinnar in the year 1464. Before his coming to 
Sinnar, he stayed at al-Wasiliyya, a place in which the 
grandsons of Ismail b. Suliman b. Husayn live. From the 
tribe of the Kawahla, Muhammad b. Abd Allah had married, 
a woman who bore him his son Husayn, the grandfather of 
Shaykh Talha, who was buried near Shaykh Musa al-Talib, 
west of Shukaba Taha village, south of Gezira. 

Shaykh Talha was initiated into the Sammaniyya under the 
unique of his own time, Shaykh Muhammad Tom w.Banaqa 
(d.1851). As soon as he settled down, at his village, which 
carries his name, on the western bank of the Blue Nile, south 
of Sinnar town, initially went on building the mosque, using 
the simple materials of the dry grass, trees' wood. No longer 
he light up the fire for the Qur’an, and the Islamic teachings, 
and began the sacred mission of guidance, by given the 
bia'a, to the hundreds of murids, who lived in that remote 

places of the Blue Nile. His fame went far and wide, among 
the tribes of the area, consequently people started to gather 
around him, asking the bia'a and baraka. The doctrine which 
the Shaykh had followed was the Sammani Qadiri doctrine, 
which represented in performing the adhkar and awrdd, 
focuses on truthfulness, sincerity, and mujahada; the 
spiritual struggle, such doctrine has successed greatly in the 
spread of the beautiful message of Islam , through the 
simplicity and tolerance of tasawwuf. It was reported that in 
the earliest years of his residence at his village, he was 
visited by al-Imam Muhammad b. Abd Allahi al-Mahdi 
(1843- 1885), who asked dua'a to his sacred mission. 
Shaykh Talha has passed away in 1875, at the age of 63, and 
buried in a tomb, came to be a place of attraction to visitors. 
Shaykh Muhammad Tom, his son had been chosen to be his 
first khalifa 441 


■ 535 

Figure 5-42 the tomb of Shaykh Talha - 1812- 1875 - 
Sennar State. 


Shaykh Muhammad w. Hashim 1828 - 1901 

His full name is Muhammad b. Hashim b. Yousif, his mother 
Zahara of the Massalmiyya tribe, from al-Qabsha west of 
Tandalti. He was born in the year 1828 and died in 1901. His 
grandfathers had migrated from Hejaz to Tunisia, carried 
the banner of the dawah. They stayed there for a period of 
time, and with the emergence of the Funj State in 1521 A.D, 
and as the other ulama” who had directed to Sudan, so the 
grandfathers of the Shaykh had come to the country via 
west of Sudan. On their arrival they intermarried and 
intermixed with tribes of Darfur and Kordofan, and then 
they moved to Sinnar, they settle down and started the 
mission of preaching and disseminating the dawah, through 
the teaching of the Qur'an, fiqh, and the prophetic sirrah. In 
the area of central Mirno, his father established his own 
khalwas and began teaching the Qur'an. 

At the prime of his age, and under his father, Shaykh 
Muhammad w. Hashim had fully memorize the Qur'an, while 
at the seventh of his age, he began the siyaha, wandering, on 
the area of west of the Nile. However, and while in the 
forest, in contemplation and meditation, the forest animals, 


ran around him, and became very near to him, thus he went 
with title ra'ai al-saiyd, the hunting shepherd. At his return 
from the wandering he met Shaykh Talha w. Husyan, who is 
of his relative. Shaykh Talha said to him, that a rare, gnostic 
had appeared, his name is Shaykh Muhammad Tom 
w.Bannaqa', and told that he had taken the Sammaniyya 
from him, and what he wished is to go to him and take the 
tariqa of him, Shaykh w.Hashim replied: 'The man who 
didn't held a dhikr, at my won circle, I won't take of him the 
tariq'. Then he (w.Hashim] spent considerable period of 
time with Shaykh Talha and once more time gone in his 
wandering, so while in the forest, he drew a circle, and 
continued his journey, when he backed after one week, he 
found Shaykh al-Tom with his murids, in dhikr, and there is 
no more excuse but taking the bia'a. Thus, it happened and 
finally he became of his earliest students. The Shaykh kept 
on the journey of wandering even after his initiation. 
Meanwhile he returned to the village of Shaykh Talha and 
settle down for a period of time, and then to the area of al- 
Dakhla, known with al-Shalal, near Singa. With granting the 
full Sufi ijaza, he went and stayed, once and for ever at 
w.Hashim, for guiding people, who gathered round him in 

great huge numbers, on the eastern bank of the Blue Nile. 
However, he established his own masid, and lightens the 
tuqaba's fire, at the same very place. His village comes to 
join almost all the Sudanese tribes, of Ja'alin, Shwaiqa, 
Dongolawize, Musabat, Kenana, Ashraf etc. The mission of 
guidance and the teaching of Qur'an, fiqh and tasawwuf had 
successfully carried out by the assistance of so many fuqaha 
mainly al-faki al-Taj, whose grandsons still live in the 
village, also, al-faki al-Tingari, moreover al-faki al-Tayyib w. 
al-Shafai and al-faki Ahmad w. Iberiq. Shaykh w.Hashim had 
left no offsprings, his khulafa" come to represent his well- 
known students. In this concern his first khalifa was Shaykh 
Muhammad abu-Gakoma, the Dongolawize. The Shaykh Sufi 
doctrine based on; love, Sincerity and zuhud. 

At the reign of Shaykh Muhammad Tom b. Shaykh Ahmad 
al-Badwi Shaykh Talha, and in the year 1948, the famous 
Nile flood had occurred, as a result it happened that the 
water had come very close and threatened Shaykh 
w.Hashim's grave. Therefore, Shaykh Muhammad Tom 
went to al-Markaz, the centre of the local English governor. 
On meeting him the official English ruler had given his 
consent of exhuming, the Shaykh's corpse. Huge number of 

people from all walks of life had gathered at the site, to have 
the opportunity of being witness, to such rare incident. It 
was reported that the local English governor, with the 
leaders of Sufi orders was among the attendants. No longer 
time after they were started the digging asidr tree grown in 
the grave, spreading its roots inside. After spending 
considerable time of digging they found nothing, at the 
midst of this amazing atmosphere Shaykh Muhammad Tom 
whispered to himself said: '0 grandfather don't failed me 
today", the digging had halt, it was initiated again, and 
nothing was found, only the tree's roots, appeared more 
clearly making up a net, he (Muhammad Tom) said "an ox 
was brought, and parts of the men had started cutting the 
tree's roots, then a white thing appeared, one of the fuqara 
went on ululation, and we began removing the veil, till the 
coffin became visible, then Shaykh Muhammad Tom 
descended into the grave, he looked inside and because of 
the vapour which started to ascend from the grave his 
(Muhammad Tom) front teethes had fallen down. We 
removed the corpse, and found it sound. Varied spiritual 
states had overwhelmed those presences. Kardma for 
Shaykh had occurred that previously he had a wound in his 

leg, so when he had been taken out from the grave his leg 
began to bleed with blood. This incident had been recorded 
in words of the poet Hamad al-Rawi of Manaqil's area, who 

Seventy - four years buried 

Exhumed for the flood came 
They found him sound as he was 

And his wound with its blood turned moist 442 

Then, the corpse had taken to the masid of Shaykh Talha, 
huge numbers of people, with the dignitaries and 
outstanding figures had gathered at the masid of Shaykh 
Talha, the corpse was put there till the afternoon, and circles 
of dhikr were held. The incident had been reported by the 
BBC with the comment. Finally, the corpse had be taken and 
buried in front of Shaykh Talha village 443 . This was the 
karama of w.Hashim proved that the bodies of those who 
are favoured by Allah do not decompose in the earth. 

It happened that the famous engineer ustaz Mahmoud Muhammad 
Taha (1908- 1985], was among the people who were present, and 

442 Sudanese local language means full watered. 

443 Interview with Sidiq Abd Allah, w.Hashim village, 14- 10-2014. 


being witness to the very same incident of the Shaykh's 
exhumation. So, he told: 'At that time I was in a working visit, there 
(Sinnar], and on the night we heard, that w.Hashim will be 
exhumed and lifted. In the morning we heard that he was 
exhumed, I was among those who were present, I had seen him in 
his coffin, and smelt the hanoot perfume as it is, this even after they 
had been poured water on the coffin 444 . 

Figure 5-42 the tomb of shaykh Muhammad w. Hashim - 

Sinnar State 



Sudanese online Osman:2013 

Shaykh Muhammad Ahmad Abu-Ezaa b.1926 

His full name is Shaykh Muhammad Ahmad Abu.el-Hasan 
Abd Allah. Abu-Ezaa is a nickname from, his mother's 
grandfather, for he has a daughter, with the name of Ezaa. 
He was born in 1926, at the village of Um-Oshara, which 
located in the north of Kordofan, between the towns of Um- 
Ruwaba and Tandalti. He received the religious sciences at 
the hand of Shaykh Ali Adham, the Maliki in madhab, and the 
student of the famous scholar, Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi. 
Shaykh Ali Adham has authorized him in five different 
sciences. And he went and studied under Shaykh Ismael 
Manqa at Sharkeila (Known with Aid al-Neel, West of Um- 

The khalwa started to teach the Qur'an in 1948. The earliest 
students were the village's children, and after two years and 
that in 1950 students from outside the village started to 
arrive. In addition to the Qur’an which is raison d'etre of the 
establishment of the khalwa, the sciences of tawhid based on 
Imam al-Ashari, the Qur'an on Imam al-Duri, fiqh on Imam 
Malik, and tasawwuf on the doctrine of Imam al-Juniyd used 
to be taught. 


The Shaykh has been authorized on the Sammaniyya, 
adhkdr, supplications, and guidance, on what pleases Allah 
and his messenger under Shaykh Abd Allah Shaykh Ibrahim, 
better known with w. al-Abbas of Zayidan village. So, he is 
Sammani Shaykh through Shaykh who actually is 
student of Shaykh Haju (1847-1929] of the 
Yaqubab. Thus, Abu-Ezza initiates the interested students 
on the line of the Sammaniyya . 

By the grace of Allah, the khalwa has graduated more than 
four thousand students since its earlier establishment in 
1947. The earlier graduated students have come to establish 
other branches which linked directly with the centre at Um- 
Oshara, in this concern, there are twenty branches 
distributed in the far and the wide corners of the country. 
Follow the known khalwa educational system. And here it 
could be pointed out that the education system inside the 
khalwa, differs from that one of the formal schooling, in the 
way, that each student stands as well represents his own 
batch, for example if ten students have enrolled on a very 
same day, then everyone may come to graduate, on a date 
different from those study mate, one may come to memorize 
in two years, another may take five years, and another one 

may needs eight years to memorize the full holy book. There 
are now more than six thousand students in the khalwa. 
They live in a very one place, called the masid, that 
surrounded with a huge fence, inside there is the mosque, 
which was constructed from the local materials, of dry grass 
and trees woods, and then in 1965 it has been rebuilt with 
red bricks, beside the mosque is the tekke, in addition to 
multi- housing guests which are well-furnished, included 
inside all features of modernity, moreover, and inside this 
large beautiful sandy- soil place is al-Qur'aniyya, the place 
where the Qur'an is taught, beside it is the tuqaba, in 
addition to the students' housing, and the flour mill. The 
khalwa on the students' accommodation depends on itself in 
all aspects of its varied tasks; there are huge lands of 
farming, on both two level of farming: the traditional- 
farming system, and the mechanical one. The senior 
students mainly the memorizers of the Qur'an were allowed 
to rent portion of land, from the local inhabitants, so an 
individual rent Mukhamas, as they call it here, and cultivates 
sesame, so, on harvesting, the crop is sold, and this help 

them to satisfy their needs of clothing and buying the fiqh 's 
books which were taught at the khalwa 445 . 

By the passing of the time Abu-Ezaa's khalwa, turned one of 
the most famous and populated place, that has drawn the 
interested students, from all over the country. 

To the murids and the people who met him, Shaykh Abu- 
Ezza is an exemplary model to the students, for despite his 
advanced age, you find him in the lead, for example on the 
coming of the rainy season, you find him carries the farming 
tools, and goes with the students to the fields, not only this 
he used from the tens of years following the process of the 
crops, going through its different stages, of cleaning the 
crops from the grass, till the coming of the harvesting stage, 
you find him with full energetic and enthusiasm shares his 
students the hard work. 

The khalwa's day begins at three o'clock in the morning, and 
ends at eleventh on the evening. The Shaykh spends his 
blessed age inside the masid, for he has never left it since 
1967, only in dire necessity. He personally initiates the 

445 Interview with Shaykh al-Jayili Shaykh al-Hafyan, Magalat al-Feid, 
2008, p.24. 

teaching of the Maliki books of fiqh, however the Ashmawi, 
al-Akhdari, al-Sefti, al-Risala, Mukhtasr of Khalil, in addition 
to the book of Ibn Ashir (990-1040 AH], which includes 
tawhid,fiqh and tasawwuf The students are recommended 
to memorize by heart the forty-Nawai hadith, in addition to 
Ibn Ashir recommended to be memorized by heart. The 
Maliki madhab is the sole madhab that is practice inside the 
khalwa. The teaching sessions always started at tenth 
o'clock and ends at eleventh a.m. The students, who 
memorized the Qur'an, are only allowed to attend these 
lessons. According to the Shaykh 's philosophy, the student 
should first and foremost come to occupy himself, with the 
memorization of the Qur'an, that because the Qur'an is the 
ascii, the origin of all the sciences, while the other disciplines 
of knowledge are branches, thus, the student must first 
focuses on the asal, and then goes to the branch 446 . 

As the case of the many Sudanese villages and cities which 
were based on their establishment on the Sufis, Um-Oshara 
emerged as a unique in a way that it comes to be linked 
directly with the memorization of the Quran. In the words of 
Shaykh al-Jayili al-Hafyan the Sammani centre of Tabat "Um- 

446 Ibid. 

Oshara turned an entire village of Qur'an runs and 
supervises by this pious man, in the way of taking the path 
of returning to Allah. The most recent statistics (2013) for 
the students enrolled in the khalwa is six thousands, while 
the daily flour ration for per-day meals is 5/6 sacks of 
dura 447 . 

Shaykh Abu-Ezaa is an outstanding figure, an embodiment 
of patience, forbearance, humility. Abu-Ezaa is a man of 
knowledge, generous, a man of patience, pious, good 
example to his students, simple and humble, the visitor will 
find difficulty to recognize him, for you find him, engage in 
the service with the students, in the tekke, bare-feet and 
uncovered head, wrapped his waist with his tobe. A man of 
mercy, and leniencyto the students 448 . 

In 2009 and on the attempt of making shift on the nature of 
learning and teaching the Qur'an, and in the way, of coping 
with the current time, Qur'anic school for the memorization 
of the Qur'an to the kids prior to learning stage and basic 

447 Interview with Shaykh al-Jayili Shaykh al-Hafyan, Mcijalat al-Feid, 
2008, p.24. 

448 Interview with Abd Allah Shaykh Mohammad Ahmed Abu-Ezza, Um- 
Oshara, 10-10-2014. 

548 1 

education have been initiated. The initiative has gone using 
the educational media, computers have been adopted. 

Throughout the history of the khalwa, one of the remarkable 
festivals inside the masid, which held annually, is the 
graduation ceremony of the memorization of the Quran. A 
lot of people come, to witness this great occasion, officials 
from government as well of the Sufi Shuyukh, used to attend 
the ceremony. Also and from the ancient oneof the things 
that regularly done, at the khalwa of Abu-Ezza, at the end of 
the agricultural harvest season, is the annual visit, made by 
the Shaykh with the company of the thousands of students 
and murids, to the masid of Shaykh al-Tom w.Bannaqa'. In 
addition to the visit of the masid of Shaykh Abd Allah 
Ibrahim w. al-Abbas, on the third day of eid. 

As a witness poetry is to be found here, in addition to the 
circles of dhikr using the tambourine and the drum. The 
thematic element of the poems here which were composed 
by Shaykh Abd Allah, elder son of the Shaykh , tell and 
inform the beauty of the Qur'an, the life in the khalwa, its 
literature, culture, language and concepts. 

Figure 5 - 44 Student at the khalwa of Abu-Ezza prepares food 
for his mates. 

Figure 5- 45 Shaykh Muhammad Ahmad Abu-Ezaa b.1926. 
North Kordofan State. 


The Sammaniyya most celebrated poets 

As a pioneer Sufi order, the Sammaniyya has given such many 
notable and gifted poets, who have emerged throughout the 
different time and epochs, as spiritual heirs of Hasan b. Thabit. 
However, with prose, poetry has cometo play a pivotal role, in 
the disseminating as well of thesurvival of the tariqa' s traditions 
and teachings. The following are the most celebrated and 
illustrious tariqa' s poets. 

1- Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im(1845 -1915) 

2- Shaykh Qarlb Allahw.Abu-Salih(l 866-1 936) 

3- Shaykh al-Fatih Shaykh Qarlb Allah (1915-1986) 

4- Shaykli Hashim Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud (1905-1969) 

5- Shaykh Mahmoud Said al-Abbasi (1881-1963) 

6- Shaykh al-Jaylli Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud (b.1948) 

7- Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-JayTli(l 878-1 965) 

8- Shaykli Muhammadal-Sabonabi (1898-1984) 

9- Al-Makawi Mohammad Bala (d.1943) 

10- Shaykh al-Buri (1923-2005) 

1 1- Shaykh al-Amln al-QurashT (1932-2010) 

12- Muhammad Ahmad Nur al-Da'im- w-.Ddater (d.2012). 

13- Shaykh al-Jaylli abu-Adakhira (b.1968). 

14- Shaykli Seif Din Sulayman( bl960) 

15- Shaykh al-Fatih Shaykli al-Buri. 

tanq a's psets 

Ab i al-Ivrf ahm and. 
w.NuiDaim Daitu 
al.D aim 

H a shim 

Ab dallvle.luii oud 

AbdaL-Qadir al- 

al-JayJi M. ?l- 

al- Abb a si 

0 ahb Allah Abu- 

al.-F atiliQ ahb 


DmT ohatim ac wad- 


M o Liam mad a 1- 

Ab ir-Rhaiir. al- 
B uti 

a 1- Amin al- Quia da 


al-Jayili abu- 

3 eir D J‘i Sulayrn. ar. 


al-Fatih al-Butai 

Diagram 10 The Sammaniyya most famous poets. 

Al-Makawi d.1943 

In fact al-Makawi deemed the first poet, who comes to 
compose poetry, primarily went on giving the good tidings, 

to the coming of the new teachings of the Sammaniyya in 
Sudan. He is the poet of al-ustaz, his full name is al-Makawi 
Muhammad Bala, who was born at the village of "al-Agar', 
near al-Damar, and he died at the year 194 3 449 . 

At the earliest of his beginning, he had accompanied Shaykh 
Mustafa al-Hafyan of Um-Daqarsi, in Gezira, but he didn't 
take from him the Sufi bia'a 450 . 'He had come to spend the 
rest of his life, at the village of al-Tarajma on the West, North 
of Rufa'a. It was stated that he went blind at an early time of 
his age. This incident had taken him to the court of Shaykh 
Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im(1866-1915]. Before his 
coming, it was narrated that Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, in his 
sessions with his murids, used to say: 'asal al-Murideen 
gadim ilikum, the honey of the murids, is in his coming way 
to you'. 

His words and phrases necessitate looking up to dictionary, 
he is an inspiring and skillful poet, and his poems have the 

449 Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Da'im Shurb al-Ka’as fi Hadrat cil-Enas (3 rd 
edition), matabi al-Sudan IVumla, Khartoum, 2011, p.33. 

450 lnterview with Mohammad Surur al-Hafyan- Tabat Shaykh Abd al- 
Mahmoud- 19-8 2013. 

tendency of enrapturing and attracting the hearts 451 . It was 
narrated as the murids used to say in the masid, that Shaykh 
Abd al-Mahmoud said, 'If we didn't breath, he would never 
opened his mouth 452 . 'He entered the inner sea, and the 
private room of the Shaykh . He received a divine opening, 
occupied special place, among the poets of his age, a man of 
distinctive features, companied the classical as well the 
colloquial language in his poems. The reader and the 
listener, to his poems, easily will be touched and experience 
the divine presence in them. So, his poems are so effective 
on the listener's ear. Moreover, Shaykhs' breaths are 
present in his poems, and this had made people, long and 
yearns to whatsoever has a connection with the Divine, 
Allah (SWT], the prophet, his family, companions, and the 
righteous men. 'In a form of wind or a nice sweet smell, they 
call it al-Nafaha; al-Makawi had inhaled and drank, from the 
inner of these breezes, which had reflected from our father 
Shaykh al-Sammani, or Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud. It came 
from the inner room of the Shaykh , and turned into spiritual 
state of the Shaykh with the murids, and the visitors in 

451 Interview with Mohammad al-Hasanal-Tayyib- Hasaheisa- 15-8-2013. 

452 Interview with al-Sammani Mohammad al-Amln- Arbaji- 1-9-2013. 

general. Describes the Shaykh as a generous man, al-rajul 
al-rabani the divinely like -man, al-rajul al-nabawi prophet 
like - man, the perfect wall, describe the Shaykh as the man 
with the opened insight, the man with the answered dua'a, 
describe him as the man who, has the word kun ' be' and it 
'be ', describe him as the unique of his time, as the man of 
patient, of much fasting, al-qawaam, describe him, as the 
man who has the deepest prophet's love. As I see what had 
qualified him, to be such the great poet, was his sincerity, 
truthfulness, self- purification, his love to the Shuyukh, and 
the love of the Shuyukh to him, so the two love, companied 
together and gave, that unique poet al-Makawi. The duniya, 
at the time of Shaykh al-Makawi, was neither an obsession 
nor a source of troublesome to the Shuyukh nor the poet, 
nor the murids even; they were all hereafter's seekers and 
adherents. The core idea, behind the gift, and the 
uniqueness of al-Makawi, and then his success as poet, 
found in the way, that he was drank from the inner, esoteric 
world. His word, is an ever- eternal, living throughout the 
ages. He (may Allah be pleased with him], had composed 
many odes, and unique poems, come greatly to help in the 
propagation of the new teachings of the Sammaniyya. In the 

Sudanese history madih, his well-reputed and noted ode, ya 
layila lilik jana , comes to focus on the qutb of the tarfqa, my 
master Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib life, his status, as a grand 
wall, mentioning his earliest students, his karamat and so 
on. In the qasida the poet has taken the advantage of 
growing up in an environment its main feature was coloured 
with the farming and cultivation language, so the listener or 
the reader of the qasida, in fact will find the farmers' 
language and words dominant 453 . When al-Makawi died in 
1943, he was an established and respected accomplished 
poet, not only within the Sammaniyya, but rather in all 
Sudanese Sufi circles. Finally he came to be buried at the 
village of al-Tarajma, in the countryside of Rufa'a. 



’Interview with Seif Adin Sulayman- Omaidan- 29-10-2013. 

Figure 5- 46 The grave of the poet al-Makawi at the village 
of al-Tarajma, west of Ruf a in Gezira State. 

The famous praise- singers of the tariqa 

If al-Makawi, and those who came after him of the tariqa’s 
poets, came to write and compose poems, on the praising of 
the prophet, and the Shuyukh of the tariqa, al-Amln al- 
QurashT (1932-2010} and Ali shaer [1937-2008] had roved 
the Sudanese cities and villages, carrying the glad tidings, to 
the teachings and the new traditions of the Sammaniyya in 
their hearts and tongues. They entirely dedicated their life 
for “Madih”. 


Shaykh al-Amin Ahmad al-Qurashi. 1932- 2010 

Known with name of Shaykh al-Amln Ahmad Muhammad 
Abraq Nai'm, his lineage ends with al-Fadniyya. He was born 
in 1932, at the village of abu-Rish, west of Haj Abd Allah- 
Gezira State. Studied the Qur'an at the khalwa of Shaykh al- 
Sammani, and then went to Omdurman 
scientific institute, he studied the science under Shaykh 
Muhammad Ahmad w. Sa'ad, and Shaykh Ahmad Omer, and 
there he was granted a civilian certificate. He was initiated 
into the Sammaniyya in 1950 at the hand of the gnostic 
Shaykh al-Sammani (1850-1967), of Tabat 
Shaykh al-Sammani. He has grown up, in a Sufi environment 
that took from madih an art and hobby, for his father, and 
the uncle ofhis mother's grandfather, were madehin, this 
had offered him quite good help, in forming his personality, 
which in turn came, to give one of the best praise- singers, 
throughout the Sudanese madih history. Shaykh al-Amln 
was lucky, for he was one day student, to the Sudanese 
Shaykh of madehin Bashir al-Hadari (1917-1972) of whom 
he received the lessons, in the art of madih. Shaykh al-Amln 
was not only madih, but also a writer of madih; he had 
authored hundreds of poems, in the prasing of the prophet 

as well on qawm. He had a poetic diawn with the name of 
“Shazdal-Teeb fi madhal-Habeeb". He considered a teacher, 
to many of the famous Sudanese Sufi singers of them: 
Shaykh Abd Allahi Muhammad Othman [al-Hiber], Ismail 
Muhammad Ali- and his sons al-Sammani- Salah, Mustafa- 
Nur al-Da'im. His simple house, at al-Thura 13, Omdurman, 
from an early of time, turn a musical centre, in which the 
beginners and juniors madihin, used to received lessons in 
the art of madih, which taught by the Shaykh himself. 
Shaykh al-Amln has passed away, in tragic car accident on 
29-9-2010, and came to be buried at Haj Abd Allah 454 . 

Shaykh Ali Bakhit al-Shair 1937- 2008 

Known as the prophet's praise-singer. He was born at the 
village of Ehemer near al-Hosh in 1937, southern of Gezira 
State. He studied fiqh at the grand mosque of Omdurman, 
between the years 1963-1974, at the hands of the scholars, 
Shaykh Ali Adham, Shaykh Awad Omer. He began his 
carrier as a mdaih in 1954. With his mate, and long-live 
brother Shaykh al-Amln al-Qurashl (1932-2010], he came 
to enrich the Sudanese Sufi library, with the best songs, in 

454 MausuatAhal al-Dhikr hi ll ’Sudan, Khartoum Vol. 4, 2004, p. 


the praising of the messenger of Allah, his companions, and the 
qciwm. He visited al-Hijaz for several times, performing the 
pilgrimage and umraha. In the Sufi path, he was initiated in the 
Sammaniyya under the Gnostic Shaykh al-Tayyib w. Abdr- 
Rahman [d.1970], the Shaykh of the Sammaiyya at abu-Gumeri. 
Shaykh Ali Bakhit has passed away in 2008, and came to be 
buried at his village Ehemer, west of al-Hosh city 455 . 

Figure 5- 47 Shaykh al-Amln Ahmad al-Qurashl. 1932- 2010 
&Shaykh Ali Bakhit al-Shairl937- 2008. 

A ' Mausuat Aha! cil-Dhikr bi 11 ’Sudan, Khartoum, Vol 4, 2004, p.1448. 


Chapter six 

The Distinctive features of the Sammaniyya 

'Inclusion of the end in the beginning' 

Ahmad Sirhindi (1564.1624), 

One thing that makes the Sammaniyya unique is its initiatic 
chain that goes back to the Prophet, through Ali b.Abi-Talib. 
Almost there is a consensus among the interviewees as well the 
references that being consulted by the author that 'The abiding 
with the Qur'an, the sunnah, and shari ’a', adding to ilm, and 
then the birthplace of the tariqa, at al-Madina al-Munawara, 
with the influential charismatic personalities of the tariqa, were 
found the most major features behind the tariqa's distinction, as 
well they were clear factors counted in favour of the tariqa’s 
widespread in the Sudan and the outside world. 

In his view Muhammad Surur al-Hafyan of the Sammani T abat 
centre the distinction of the tariqa could be found in its ultimate 
concern with ilm , in addition to its birthplace and the symbolic 
meaning of it. In his own words, he comments: Tn fact what 
distinguishes the tariqa , is its scientific orientation method, 
abiding with the shari 'a, and what support this point is the 

tariqa' s Shaykhs themselves, who were memorizers to the holy 
book, and who were writers, to the prophet's Sunn ah. In 
addition, the tariqa springs from only one quth , it hasn't entered 
the Sudan, through two sources, i.e. the qutb Ahmad al-Tayyib 
is the sole only source to whom the Sammaniyya branches 
sanad is refer to, moreover, the Qadiri sanad, which is one of its 
main five branches, is the sanad of the bulk of the Sudanese, it 
could be said that each Sammani is Qadiri, and not the opposite. 
Adding, the cradle of the tariqa , is al-Madina al-Munwara , a 
place of a symbolic meaning to the Sudanese, as they see what 
it comes from, that place is the best'. To add, there is strong 
abiding, and ultimate concern towards the litanies, and here 
also, the Shuyukh sat in the circle of recollection, with murids to 
perfonn the awrdd. Finally, what makes the tariqa distinct is 
that its Shuyukh have refrained from politics, and then the 
affiliation to political parties . 4 ' 6 Abiding with the teachings of 
the Qur'an and Sunnah , in addition to its Shuyukh have far more 
concern to ilm , and here the scientific knowledge easily could 
be cited as one of the distinctive features of the tariqa . The 
evidence in this juncture is what is found, in the Islamic library 
of the huge widespread of the books, authored by the affiliated 

456 Mohammad Surur al-Hafyan- Tabat Abd al-Mahmoud-19-8 2013. 


membersof the tariqa themselves'. The Sammaniyya is a 
multiple tariqas in one, in other words, varied sources and 
mashrabs , come together to constitute one tariqa, this indicates 
that the tariqa mashrab , is quite wide. The strong determination 
and clear abiding with performing the aw rad, individually as 
well in congregation. Also, the concern given by the Shuyukh of 
the tariqa , to perfonn the aw rad, with the followers, in one mat. 
Moreover their sharing the murids , the session of learning, as 
teachers or listeners were points of distinction of the tariqa. 
What it should be noted is that, the widespread of the tariqa' s 
teachings, has done through non-blood lineage sons, more than, 
what has done, through the blood- lineage sons of the tariqa' s 
founder. To my view this point is also counted as distinctive 
features for the Sammaniyya 4 ' 7 . 'The Sammaniyya are the 


people of taste and courtesy' . 'It’s Shuyukh known with 
humility, and wrapping with the belt, which has a prophetic 
trace, for it was reported that our master Giberial in the 
ascending night journey, preceded the messenger of Allah, 
while he (Gaberial) is wrapping his waist. And it was also 

457 Interview with Mohammad al-Hasan al-Tayyib- Hasaheisa- 15-8-2013. 
458 Interview with Shaykh Hashim Shaykh Mohammad, al-Shaykh al- 
Basir- 19-8-2013. 

reported that, at the last tenth of Ramadan, our prophet used to 
honour and observe, these tenth with wrapping his waist. What 
distinguishes the Sammaniyya is the variety of its adhkar and 
methods, for it could be said, the bulk of the branches of the 
tanqa , used drums, tambourines as accompanied tools in 
perfonning dhikr rituals, while some others follow the Khalwati 
method of dhikr. It is the most widespread tanqa. Known by its 
great published books, mainly in poetry, with its thematic 
concepts of the praising of the prophet (PBUH), suluk and 
qawm 459 . One of the striking points in what is regarding the 
Sammaniyya distinctive feature is the notion of the 
decentralization, to the view of Muhammad A z im Mustafa 'The 
decentralization as I see it is an important factor that helps its 
spread. To me the decentralization back to the highest spirit as 
well the strong detennination of the tarlqa's pioneers, and this 
help in the way that, every Shaykh turned independent at his 
own place. And the decentralization goes towards the strength, 
which also and with no restriction allows some sort of freedom. 
In addition to the numerous authoring books, which have 
written by the Shuyukh of the tanqa , the trend as I see has 
consolidated and shown the scientific dimension of the tanqa , 

459 Interview with Shaykh al-Tayyib Shaykh al-Hadi- al-Sabonabi village- 
23 - 9 - 2013 . 


which in the final conclusion has contributed greatly in the 
widespread of its teachings. And moreover, its birthplace is al- 
Madina al-Munawara , all these factors come collectively to 
make the tariqa distinction 460 '. 

Shaykli al-Yaqoot believes that the Sammaniyya' s Shuyukh 
throughout the time have presented the example and the model 
to the society, in the way of tarbiya and suluk, he points out: 
'The Sammaniyya is one of the pioneers of the turuq, in the 
science of tasawwuf tarbiyya and suluk , in Sudan and outside. 
It has a long living contribution in the purification of souls, and 
disciplining of selves. Its grand Shuyukh , represent the guided- 
prophetic schools, call for the straight path, and guidance. 'The 
Sammaniyya distinguishes from the other turuq , in a way that it 
makes of its students pioneers, walk among the people, with 
science and knowledge, the science of shari'a , which runs at the 
tongue of the people, i.e. the directives of the deen, from the 
(Qur'an) and the sunnah. And tasteful knowledge, which the 
affiliation to its rare class, after the grace of Allah, and the irfan 
degree of the Shaykli, to the effort of the murid , and his struggle 
in the Jana station, and mushahadat al-Dhat ; the witnessing of 
the Essence, such degrees, the Sammaniyya school becomes its 

460 Interview with Mohammad Azim Shaykh MuStafa-1 7-9-2013. 



pioneers. The Sammaniyya makes its affiliated individual, a 
practical scholar, in the walks of this world and the hereafter, 
never gets rid of exerting effort in both, sticking with outward 
of the first, and directing with the whole to the second, asking 
the grand and sublime, which is returning to Allah (SWT). 
Therefore, the Sammaniyya makes of its individual a practical 
worker for his nation, society and himself, away from the way 
of laziness, tiredness, nor languishing a way, such is a grand 
feature, the Sammaniyya Shuyukh work out to instill, in their 
sons and students, till be reflected, in the whole society, for you 
find among them, the physician, the engineer, the economist, 
the industrial, the fanner, the researcher, the thinker, the writer 
and the poet. They are a comprehensive ummah, provides the 
society and the nation, with the purified in the ethics, manners 
and suluk , as well the artist, skillful craftsmen. For this the 
Sammaniyya has intensively spread among the men and 
women, youth and elders, accepted by the young before the old, 
in the Sudan and outside. And to the observer of the diagram of 
the Sufi orders spreading and expansion in Sudan, from the first 
glance will find that the Sammaniyya takes the lion share. For 
since its arrival to Sudan at the hand of the grand qutb , Shaykli 
Ahmad al-Tayyib b. al-Bashir (may Allah be pleased with him), 
it dominated all its places, eastward, westward, northward and 


southward. The order spread to all comers of the Sudan. One is 
not apt to find a single town or village, except that the 
Sammaniyya has devotees and lovers within it. The tarlqa has 
then expanded outside, you find it, in the Horn of Africa, in 
Ethiopia, Eretria, Somalia, and in North Africa, mainly the Arab 
republic of Egypt, and in the majority of West African States 
like: Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory coast, Guinea and Mali etc. This 
widespread is not mere a chance, never, but a continuant, 
ceaseless and hard, ardent work, carried on the shoulders of the 
tarqia's pioneers, in the way of the daw a 'h and tarbiyya , for 
Allah per see'. The Sammaniyya has benefited from all of the 
means of modem communication and technology. At our own 
age, it reaches even countries in the EU, and North America, 
and became of a grand name as well of the position 461 . 'What 
distinguishes the Sammaniyya, is the murids ’ courtesy, with the 
Shuyukh , and this feature is so quite obvious in taking off the 
hat and turban, from the heads, at their presence, in addition to 
the wrapping of the waist with the belt. Another feature of 
distinction of the tarlqa is its simplicity, and widespread in the 
Sudanese society. More of the tarlqa's distinction, is its concern 
with legal sciences, and knowledge, for example here at the 

461 Interview with Shaykh Yaqoot Shaykh Mohammad- Shaykh al-Yaqoot 
village, 5, 10, 2013. 

— 567 

masid of Karkog, there is what is termed as dars al-Juma'a , the 
Friday's lesson, which backto more than a hundred year, in 
which the book of fad al-Oadir shark al-Jamae al-saghir is 
taught. It is known here that Sharif al-Khatim used to bring the 
ulama , to teach people and murids , the Islamic sciences- fiqh , 
sirrah and hadith. In 1936 when Sharif Muhammad al- Am ln 
has become khalifa , he kept on following the same method of 
his predecessors, in bringing ulama to the masid , to teach the 
fiqh and sirrah , and here among the most famous of ulama , of 
the regular attendance was Shaykh Idris Eziriq 462 . ’One of the 
so many of the distinctive features of the Sammaniyya is the 
ultimate concerns of its Shuyukh , with the Qur'an, its 
memorization, recitation, and its exegesis. This trend is so quite 
obvious, and could be touched, on their inciting as well 
encouraging their murids , to observe the Qur'an with reading, as 
part of their daily wird. Another distinctive feature of the 
tariqa , is the aw rad and ratibs , the tariqa' s Shuyukh grant the 
awrad and ratibs , more concern, and this vividly being 
manifested of performing, without delay at all costs, whether in 
individual or in congregation. In this regard, the proper place of 
the awrad as well the ratibs , of the tariqa , could be found on 



Interview with Munaf Shanfal-Nur- Karkoj- 25-10-2013. 

the words, of the founder, my master and ultimate qutb al- 
Samman, who says: 'Whoever keeps by heart, my Salat , the 
prayer of the centre of the existence circle, and read my 
invocation, nazamthu, I will place on the way of the prophet, 
even if he is innovative, transgressor, and concluded to him 
with happiness". Surely one should emphasize and point to the 
fact that, the Sammaniyya Shuyukh starting from the founder, 
and those who came after him carrying out his teachings and 
doctrine, were known in the first place as ulama , combining 
between the innerward knowledge as well the outward one. 
They were the sharia' a scholars, and the flaqiqa's heirs. Noted 
with upbringing and educating their murids , on the footsteps of 
the prophet guidance' 463 . 'The Sammaniyya is a tariqa that has 
been built on Urn and knowledge. Based on the Qur'an and the 
prophetic traditions, and this help in its spread, nationally, 
regionally, as well globally. Its Shuyukh have distinguished 
themselves with writings and authoring, on the varied types of 
knowledge, fiqh , theology, philosophy, syntax, literature, 
rhetoric, poetry, Sufism and so forth. For verifying this fact, 
simply the box with number 32, at the Sudan records, in 
Khartoum will inform, that Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, who is 

463 Interview with Shaykh Qurashi Shaykh Ibrahim- al-Kedewa-20-9-2013. 

— 569 

one of the most pioneers of the tariqa, had authored 83 books 
and references on the varied types of knowledge and sciences, 
this just an example of the tariqa' s Shuyukh writers. Adding to 
this, and in the way of guidance, nearly across the tariqa’ s 
spreading sites and from ancient its Shuyukh follow the 
method of holding scientific circle sessions, of learning. 
Another distinctive feature of the tariqa , is its guides, both the 
earliest founders, and the later khulafa , they were seen as men 
of taSawwuf md ulama. So, the majority of the current khulafa 
of the tariqa , in its different branches, are university graduates, 
while many of them have pursued post-graduate studies, 
attained highest degrees of doctorate and professorship, the 
living example here, is Shaykh Hasan Shaykli al-Fatih (1932- 
2005), the fonner vice-chancellor of Omdurman Islamic 
University. Moreover, the Sammaniyya are known with their 
true struggle in the path, a credit comes to be counted, for both 
its Shuyukh and murids. Also, one of the major causes, behind 
the tariqa’ s spreading, is the richness as well the abundance of 
its poetic production, which came to handle all the genres of 
poetry including poems on the praising of the prophet, righteous 
men, self- struggle, souls purification and purgation of hearts. 
As well it comes to tackle and discuss religious, spiritual and 

social issues. These poems turned to be recited in the forums as 
well gatherings, and through the media. In this concern the 
Sudanese madih circles, is dominated by the Shuyukh as well 
tariqa's poets production. A clear living example here is my 
master Shaykli Abdr-Rahim al-Buri (1923-2005), who 
successfully and with no rival, comes to sit at the top of the 
prophetic as well qawm poetic production. However, and 
through his poetic word, the Shaykh fully has contributed, in 
the spread of the tariqa's teachings, as well and in many ways, 
comes to reflect the ills, pains, and hopes of the youth problems. 
Tracing that path of the Buri of Yemen, Shaykli Abdr-Rahim 
emerged as a social healer, from a side and spiritual leader, 
from another side and Since the doctrine of the tariqa , is the 
scientific one, so several of studies, theses and researches, have 
conducted, targeting the varied sciences, that the tariqa's 
pioneers, have tackled, in fact poetry is the most desired area, 
specifically that one of Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud, Shaykli al- 
Buri, and Shaykli Qarlb Allah, just to name a few'. Moreover, 
other distinction of the tariqa is found within its awrad, which 
begins after the Morning Prayer, and continue to the sunrise, 
and after the Maghreb prayer up to Isha. While the branch of 
Shaykh Qarlb Allah (1866-1936), is peculiar with the wird al- 

sahar , the vigil litany; which attributed to the grand qutb , of the 
tariqa , Shaykh Mustafa al-Bakrl b.Kamal Din (1687- 1748 ). It 
worth remarking here, that most of these adhkdr are done in 
congregation, while some others as individual, each according 
to his own strength and readiness, or what is seen by the Shaykh 
, as beneficial for the murid 464 . 'A reformist tariqa , backed with 
tasawwuf to its early age. Taking from the prophet (PBUH), and 
his companions, an exemplary model. As I see Sammaniyya 
distinctive features can be found on its: 

• Openness to the Islamic world scientific contribution of 
authorship and books. 

• The birthplace of the tariqa is al-Madina al-Munawara, 
and the symbolic meaning of that to the Sudanese people. 

• Sticking and tracing in guidance, the way of the earliest 
founders, such as that one of Shaykh al-Tom, Shaykh al- 
Qurashi, Shaykh al-Basir, Shaykh Abdal-Mahmoud, Shaykh 
Birayer, Shaykh Qarlb Allah, Shaykh Haju Wal-Masi, Shaykh 
Abd al-Qadir al-Azraq, Shaykh al-Sammani". 

464 Interview with Abd al-Jabar Munir al-Khaldi- al-Hara 1 7 -Omdurman 1 5- 
9 - 2013 . 

•The owner of the largest and best of authoring books began 
with its earliest founders, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Abd al- 
Karhn al-Samman, passed through Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib. 

•International tariqa, found in Egypt, Yemen, Ethiopia, India, 
Indonesia, UK, USA, South Africa. 

•Its award post- every obligatory prayer, most of the turuq in 
Sudan, concentrate only on morning and evening adhkar. 

•Its Shuyukh focus on the memorization, tajweed, of the Qur'an, 
not only this, but they instruct their murids , to read it daily. 

•Observing adab, with Almighty Allah (SWT), His prophet 
(PBUH), with the Shaykh , (taking off the turban, and wrapping 
waist, with the belt), and adab with entire Muslims. In fact, 
adab is one of the most, distinguish features of the tariqa. 

• Dhikr al-Saiyyha , which attributed to the qutb al- tariqa, 
Shaykh al-T5m 465 . 

'The Sammaniyya, is a tariqa that has established on the way of 
science, to be more accurate on inward as well outward science, 

465 Al-Hajj Abd al-Qadir Hamdan Taj al-Din, Amarat Shaykh Haju, 1, 10, 
2010 . 

more than this the tanqa in a very unique way, came to join, 
between the two types all together. And in this concern, the 
majority of the Sufi orders, if we notice, tend to focus on the 
traditional side, what it meant here, is the traditional Sufism , 
which does not mix between the inward and outward science, 
rather on the former only. 

•The Sammaniyya is a progressive tanqa, so to speak, inside its 
teachings; there are progressive thoughts as well renewal trend. 

• The Sammaniyya's Shuyukh , khulafa, as well murids, in all 
parts of the world, where the sites of the tanqa exist, could be 
depicted as an enlightened, educated and scholars. Thus, if we 
come to make a survey to verify this fact, and then to proof the 
tanqa's relation to science and writing, the book of Azahir al- 
riydd of Shaykli Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im (1843-1915), 
could be taken as a living example for the first Sufi book of its 
kind in Sudan, in the way of writing biographies, mainly the life 
of Shaykli Ahmad al-Tayyib!r"(1742-1824), and his 
earlier students, as well of its doctrine, litanies etc. this style in 
writing, which set by the Sammani Shaykli , has inspired some 
Sudanese personalities who came to be influenced by such 

doctrine, and traced that way in writing their biographies, so the 
ex-Qadi Sliaykh Ahmad Hashim could be taken as an example. 

•The scientific dimension, which stands as a plain feature, that 
distinguishes the Sammaniyya could be found in the nickname 
'al-ustaz', so in the Sudanese Sufi circle, the utterance of 'al- 
ustaz, is peculiar to Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al- 
Da'im(d.l915), an indication that the tanqa built and based on 
science and knowledge, therefore, the nickname is turned a 
synonymous to the Shaykh , even the uneducated person, when 
he comes to mention the name of the Shaykh , initially he tells 
al-ustaz al. Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud. 

•What distinguishes the Sammaniyya also, is its adabiyat, 
literatures, so the tanqa has the credit as a first Sudanese Sufi 
order, whose Shuyukh come to compose and write classical 
Arabic poetry, so if you have an experience of reading, Shaykh 
Abd al-Mahmoud w.Nur al-Da'im, poetic diwan 'Shurb al- 
Ka’as', without any slighted doubt, you will come to say, this 
work is written by Tbn al-Farid, or al-Halaj, or Tbn Arabi. 
Therefore, his poetry (Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud) comes to set a 
poetic Sufi school, for the Sudanese classic poetry. This, shows 
that the Sammaniyya poets have taken their knowledge, from 

the original Islamic source, that of Ibn Arabi, al-Nabulsi, or the 
Sufi philosophers as they have been termed. As I see, the 
Sammaniyya has revived and backed again, to the Sudanese 
literary circles, the classical Arabic poetry. This show also the 
teachings of the tariqa , did not influence greatly by the local 
heritage, or the Sudanese local beliefs, but with no doubt there 
is no single tariqa , away from the effect of the local beliefs, or 
the adaptation of the Sudanese environment, in fact this 
influence varies from tariqa to another, it increases here, while 
it decreases there. So, in short I see the Sammaniyya is so closer 
to the original spring of tasawwuf. 

• Moreover, of the distinctive features of the tariqa, is that 
remark or notice which drew my attention, and which concern 
Omaidan Sammani branch , throughout my personal experience, 
while I have carried a work survey, the tariqa here intensively 
uses the symbols, which taken from the Arabic alphapet abjad- 
hawwaz , for instance the number 151 and 263, known as hi sab 
al-jumal, to the best of my knowledge, practically such trend 
(hi sab al-jumal ) did not found, as symbols among any of the 
Sudanese Sufi turuq , rather than the Sammaniyya. The 
philosophy behind the usage of these symbols, no doubt at least 
draw the notice, or take the attention of the murids , and 


uneducated one, for an instance a woman may come from al- 
Gimbila, or from Sliawa village, and simply said to yon that the 
number 151 is my father Shaykh al-Samman, and 263 is my 
father Shaykh al-Bakrl, so the tariqa doctrine here undoubtedly, 
gone with raising the murids' level of awareness and 

The dean of the Economic College of the University of the Holy 
Quran, Braiyer Sa'ad Din believes that the Sammaniyya 
represents the core of the Sufi orders. In his own words he 

•The variation of dhikr in the tariqa, the Sammaniyya 
distinguishes with varied types of dhikr such as al-siha, al- 
tahaqat 466 etc. 

'The Sammaniyya is well- known tariqa, based on Sunni 
tasawwuf Its Shuyukh are ulama , righteous, and fuqaha, their 
life was set up on such virtues, and being reflected throughout 
their personal lives, followed the prophetic doctrine. The 
ordinary murid among them, speak with the tongue of the arif 
and this comes as the result of the impact of the guide. The 


’Abbas al-Hajj- University of Khartoum- 23-9-2013 

Sammaniyya is a tarqia that has adab and fundamentals; it is 
widespread, international tariqa , its Shuyukh on the footsteps of 
the prophet, his companions, and the greater righteous of the 
salaf The poet of Shaykh al-Imam, Ali w.Badi, in a famous 
qasida went to praise his Shaykh , while in his masTd , and 
showed his connection with the earliest of the a waliya , says 

Fihi al-rashid shabah al-Junaiyd 

There on it (the masid) is the guide who is liken to al- 
Junayia ■ 

*One of the greatest and significant characteristic features of the 
tariqa is its appearance in al-Madina al-Munawara and this in 
itself is a great privilege, for no sun shines with the sun of the 
messenger of Allah. 

*the tariqa represents the authentic middle approach of Islamic 
doctrine, based on Ashari aqida and Maliki madhab , in a 
comprehensively chained sanad, with what is being received 
by the acceptance of the ummah , on contrary to the doctrines 
and madhib which were appeared at this time and harmed the 

467 Interview with Mohammad Ahmed al-Faki- Shaykh al-Yaqoot village- 4-10- 

* Joint varied turuq such as the Qadiriyya Khalwatiyya 
Naqshandiyya and so on, for this it is the cream of the creams. 

*The founder Shaykli Muhammad 'Abd al-Karim al-Samman 
has asanad and an accurate direct lineage with our master Abu- 
Bakr al-Sidiq, for their houses were inside the prophetic Haram , 
for this he was nickednamed to the people of the tariq "the 
doorkeeper of the Haram" and the " the doorkeeper of the 
prophet" . 

*The abundance of the ulama” and the righteous in the tarlqa, 
what proven this is abundant varied authored books, and 
outspread of the awaliya in the wide areas like Shaykh al-Tom 
w.Bannaqa' the Ya'qubabi, and Shaykli al-Qurashi the Sharlfi, 
and Shaykh al-BaSir al-Halawi and Shaykh Ali b. Ya'qub al- 
Dewihi, and so on, so the tarlqa has spread in the all comers of 
the country. 

*The nearness of its sanad to Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, 
the sultan of the awaliya , through Shaykh Qarib Allah al-Saih, 
for it was narrated that al-Saih aged, comparing of the others 
even the affiliated of the Qadiriyya. 

*The scientific originality for their practices and rituals on the 
light of holy book and sunnah , and this is apparent and quite 
obvious in the authoring and debates such as " al-NuSra al- 
ilmiyya " of Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud. 

*The emanation of the secrets and meanings, which being 
manifested apparently in their authoring and spiritual status 
such as the book of " al-Nadhart" of Shaykh al-Hafyan. 

*Their sincere love and intimacy to the prophet, and this also 
clearly manifested in their spiritual nature of the authoring 
books such as the book of "al-Urf al-Atir” of Shaykh Abd a 1- 
Mahmoud 468 . 



'Interview with Birayer Sa'ad al-Din, Hasaheisa, 3 1-8-2014. 

Chapter Seven 

The future of the Sammaniyya 

Many observers thought that as societies became more modem 
and industrialized; the social functions of the Sufi teachers and 
their organizations would decline. In the mid-twentieth century, 
many analyses painted a picture of reduced and possibly 
disappearing of the Sufi orders. Despite the opposition and the 
predictions, however, Sufi orders continue strong in most of the 
Islamic world and in communities of Muslims where they are 
minorities. It could be emphasized that the very aim of the 
ancient teachings of Islam , and Sufism is to show people how 
to totally submit to Allah, the absolute Real, thereby accepting 
to deal with relative reality manifested in time and space, 
submitting to the timeless with the help of an ancient science 
allows one to become enlightened in the present, as it is 
strongly believed. Such spiritual realization includes knowledge 
of what is changeless and what is notexplained that while the 
articles of faith are unchanging, religious practices must adapt 
to time and place. In other words, the beliefs on which doctrines 
are elaborated are stable, but actions must change according to 


In what concern the future of the spiritualties in the whole world 
scene, the question imposed itself is there no any future for 
spirituality in the world of today? Putting in consideration that 
tasawwuf represents the spiritual dimension. The Sufi orders 
continue to provide vehicles for articulating an inclusive Islamic 
identity with a greater emphasis on individual devotional piety 
and small-group experience. The contrast with the more legalist 
orientation with its emphasis on the community as a whole is a 
long-standing polarity in Islamic history. It is clear that the great 
transformations of the modem era have not destroyed the basis 
for this polarity 469 . 

Sufism provides guidance to mankind in all ages and shall 
continue to do so in future. How the traditional form of 
tasawwuf has the appeal for the modem educated mind the 
scientific mind is skeptical of analogies and is impatient with 
mysticism. The need of the hour, therefore, is to modernize 
Sufism , couching it in the contemporary idiom, and explaining 
its ideology in a way that should address the present-day 
individual, whose major concern is as much with intellectual 
development as it is with purification of the soul. That is why 
tasawwuf should necessarily be linked with real events and its 



objectives expressed in a scientific manner. Its attraction will 
thus reach far beyond the poor, the distressed, the under- 
educated and the downtrodden who at present make up the bulk 
of its following. 

In the changing contexts of the late twentieth and early twenty- 
first centuries, the traditions of the Sufi orders have special 
strengths in situations where there is a high degree of religious 
pluralism. They allow the believer to maintain an individual 
Islamic devotional identity in the absence of a national or 
society- wide Muslim majority. These traditions also allow for 
an articulation of Islam in a form compatible with secularist 
perspectives. Thus Sufism has importance in the non -Muslim 
societies of Western Europe and North America . 470 

The idea of speaking about the future of the tariqa recalls the 
speech on tasawwuf future per se. So, as if the equation says, if 
there is a future for tasawwuf that indicates, there is a future for 
the tariqa, that because the essence of the Sammaniyya, is the 
one of that real essence of tasawwuf. 

470 Muslim Saints and Modernity Georg Stauth 


To portray the future of the Sammaniyya, it is better to 
understand the factors that made the tariqa to prosper in the 
past, and as I see may present themselves as the causes for 
future expansion. 

The Shuyukh of the tariqa are required no doubt to change tools 
and means, but the message and purpose is permanent. 

However, following the introduction above, and for further 
discussion and debate to the future of the Sammaniyya. In the 
first place the tariqa should come to address the questions 

1- How the tariqa' s discourse be attractive to the new 

2- How the balance between materialistic needs and spiritual 
one could be made? 

3- How tazkiya , suluk go in harmony with modernity? 

4- To what extend the tariqa's Shuyukh mange toinitiate and 
develop strategies to face the modernity and postmodemity? 

So, the dilemma of the future of Sufi orders in general, and 
Sammaniyya in particular rests on the way, of how the tradition 
doctrine goes with modernity. 

Following the interviews and debates with the interviewees 
their feedback come to emphasize and ensure the fact that what 
is required for the tariqa' s future the tools of dawah should 
come to be updated in order to attract new adherents and 

'The future is promising, for the youth have entered, the circle 
of the tariqa , and in this concern Shaykh al-Hadi, the father 

Madat al-duhur wa lam tazal a’alamhum 

Tazdad jeelan ba'ad jeel 

The time passed by and still their flags 

Increase generation after coming generation 471 

What constitutes a problem is the refuge of the Shuyukh and 
murids , to the dunya . (Praise be to Allah), the Sammamyya, 
is in a continuant expansion, with the development of sciences, 
at this age, I mean the modern sciences. The outstanding 
personalities of the tariqa , have taken upon themselves an 

471 Interview with Shaykh al-Tayyib Shaykh al-Hadi al-Sabonabi village- 
23 - 9 - 2013 . 

472 Interview with Shaykh Hashim Shaykh Mohammad, al-Shaykh al-Basir- 
19 - 8 - 2013 . 

exemplary model, for true serious guidance. However, the base 
that they set up is so solid and firm, attracted and still do several 
of those who seeking the way of returning to Allah ' . The 
whole future is for Sufism , but more specifically goes to the 
Sammaniyya, which mixed between the sciences of this world, 
and that of the hereafter. And if the Islamic movements had 
failed, with its corruption, and its retrogression on itself, the 
Sammaniyya of what it carries of the meanings of purification, 
sincerity, to the society and nation, capable to have a promising 
and prosperous future. For the nucleus of the good society, is 
the people of tasawwuf and the influential, developed nation, 
its seeds is the people of tasawwuf and this is not an 
innovation, for the history tells of the greatness of the men of 
tasawwuf and the Sammaniyya, more specifically, that they 
were at the situation of the challenge, at the time of ordeals, 
crisis, disasters, rise up by the nation, cures and gives the 
remedy to its wounds, banded its broken bones, and elevated it 
to the status of civilization and growth 474 . ’The future is for the 
Sufi orders, for a simple reason, and that its moderate doctrine. 
Unlike the other Islamic groups or sects, Sufism shuns away 

^Majalat al-Fayid interview with Shaykh al-Jayili 2008 p:27 
474 Article written by Shaykh al-Yaqoot Shaykh Mohammad- Shaykh al- 
Yaqoot village, 5, 10, 2013. 


with extremism and fanaticism, it is known with its middle - 
way approach. Sufis have taken from, the wisdom of Islamic 
religion, the starting point for spreading and preaching their 
teachings. No doubt there is some sort of apathy, in the Sufi 
movement, as well there are many things, that have entered the 
tasawwuf which are not of its part, in addition many pretenders 
or false- Sufis, have come to be a problem, but if people 
returned to the true Sufi doctrine, there will be no problem. I 
recommend that Sufis should come to be represented in a body, 
defend them, and speak on their behalf 475 . Based on the Prophet 
saying , " There will always be a group from my ummah manifest 
[victorious or established] upon the truth. They will not be 
harmed, by those who oppose them, nor by those who abandon 
them, [and they will remain] up until the hour is established”, 
this hadith, as is known, is in the two Sahih collections. The 
idea or what would be understood, from this prophetic tradition, 
is that the time will not run out of the righteous, and of those 
who took upon themselves, the good exemplary to the people. 
The tciriqa ’s men no doubt were and still of those sincere, true 
guides that set forth the good example, for the people and 
murids to follow. However, securing a better future the Shuyukh 

475 Interview with Munaf SharTfal-Nur- Karkoj- 25-10-2013. 


and murids should keep on observing the awrad, and 
remembrances, and above all, they ought to be stick and abide 
by the shari'a 476 . With a modem scientific doctrine, which 
accounted as one of the tariqa's distinction, the Sammaniyya 
has a promising future as well an expected wide expansion. So 
many available windows and platforms have been provided 
now, to the ttnqa , to spread more widely throughout the world, 
so the service which the internet offers, has given new access as 
well a window, to link the tarfqa, with outside world. More 
concern ought to be paid to dm, as well preserving the litanies 
and adhkar perfonnance. Showing the good example to follow, 
for the hal is sounder than the maqdl 4 7 . 'To my view, the future 
of the tanqa is linked with future of tasawwuf generally in 
Sudan. I see the future for Sufism , and not for any other sect, 
that because almost all Sufi orders now have the tendency 
toward the universality. There are studies now focus on the 
phenomenon of the intercontinental tdriqas, such as the 
Burhaniya. The west in general began to move towards the 
Islamic Sufism or the popular Islam , in favour of the Islamic 
fundamentalism, since Sufism accept the other; preach 

476 Interview with Shaykh Qurashi Shaykh Ibrahim- al-Kedwa-20-9-2013. 
477 Interview with Abd al-Jabar Munir al-Khaldi- al-Hara 1 7 -Omdurman 1 5- 


tolerance, love, and brotherhood. Studies have shown that Sufi 
tolerance and love have opened the door to many westerners to 
embrace Islam . The attraction and the concern of the west with 
Sufism represented in the spread of many Sufi centres and 
zdwiyas, in its very territories. As one of these turuq , the future 
is in favour of the Sammaniyya, to spread wide internationally, 
only if it comes to arrange its internal house, so the tariqa's 
solid and ancient history, in addition to its scientific doctrine 
and teachings, and that bright biographies of its Shuyukh, and its 
rich worthy and sophisticated literature, and its daw ah's tools 
being revived, and then supporting studies and researches, 
through collecting the tariqa production, on its both oral and 
written fonn, if all these have come to find more care, then and 
as I see the guarantee for the better future of spreadingglobally 
will be secured 478 . 

The poet al-Naim Muhammad Nur of the earliest of the 1950s 
has put the future of the tariqam the words: 

Tilteen fi al-alamin it hasbu likum qwam 

Al-Ourashl wa al-Basir wa Shaykh MuhammadTom 

478 Interview with Abbas al-Hajj- University of Khartoum- 23-9-2013. 


Narkum rna bitmoot lamin al.qiyam taqauum 

Two thirds of the worlds 479 counted for you as qawm 
Al-Ourasht and Al- Basir and Shaykh Muhammad Tom 
Your fire is burning won't put off to the day of dooms 
The tariqa is in great dissemination, and its distinguished 
features which were stated previously are capable to guarantee a 
grand promising future, if we realized what is running on in the 
world of today, of searching out for the true and authentic 
doctrine of Islam , which calls for knowing Allah, and abiding 
with faith, in accordance with the inherited vessels which were 
agreed upon of the science and forms, gnosis, and secrets in a 
time of too abundant seditions and ordeal across the extremism, 
textual stagnation or inqlaq fikri or closed-mind thought, even 
in religion which lead to inhilal , disintegration and tahdlul , 
decomposition, the tariqa here represents the authentic middle- 
approach and the outlet from the ordeals and crisis. 

For a promising future I recommend the following points; 

479 The word used to refer to the Sudanese 


a-Ensuring of returning to the authentic tanqa's doctrine, and 
then subjecting to its rulings and principles. 

b-Caring with the tongue of hal before the maqal , for the 
spiritual state of one single man in a thousand, is better than the 
saying of a thousand single man in a one, and this the doctrine. 

c-Taking with the causes of the age and modem tools or devices 
with prevailing over them, instead of its dominance over us, and 
this via filling with the tanqa's sciences and secrets. 

d-Caring with the group and its organization, that for 
generalizing this goodness, taking with principle of upgrading 
the daw ah. 

e-Paying the more of contacts and visits which call for the 
dominance, setting as well the fixing of the bases of the tariq, 
with its impact in souls, as wellthe drawing of the hearts to 
Allah's obedience, and love. 

f-Caring and focusing on the endowment system, for financing 
the tarTqa's daw ah projects. 

g-Disseminating and printing the authoring books and the 
manuscripts which exploded with the sciences and the good 

h-Spreading the scientific centres, of the tanqa on the whole 
levels 480 . 

The professor of the Islamic studies, and former dean of the 
faculty of USiil Adin , at the Omdurman Islamic University, 
Shaykh al-Fatih al-Hiber, told that the future of taSawwuf is the 
future of Islam itself, however, Sufis should come to be united, 
and they have to return to the principles and the fundamentals of 
taSawwuf he states: 'As I see it the future of taSawwuf, is the 
future of Islam , that because the taSawwuf represents the third 
rank of the faith, which has stated in what is known as hadith 
Geberial. Those who are in the lead of taSawwuf if they do not 
unite putting their minor differences, conflicts fanaticism, the 
love of jah and the love of the authority, the love of dunya , and 
the other of the heart diseases, of what the taSawwuf comes to 
fight, then the future of taSawwuf will be in great danger. Thus, 
for the guarantee of the continuity, as well of the fixing of the 
Sufi doctrine among the Muslims, it is a must of applying its 
doctrine a true, sincere and sound application, build on the 
Book and the sunnah , with no if rat excesses and tafrit . ; 
deficiency, as has been come from the earlier generation, this in 



Interview with Birayer Sa'ad al-Din, Hasaheisa, 3 1-8-2014. 

general, if we take the Sammaniyya the general rule that have 
stated is applies to it, while we can add, with honesty and 
truthfulness, the current khulafa" should not come to depend on 
the legacy and the inheritance of the fathers and forefathers, but 
this should be employed as reinforcement and motivating factor 
for doing more of what the fathers and forefathers had done. 

For a promising future, generally first and foremost I 
recommend for the unity of all Muslims, and specifically the 
unity of those of the people of the Sufi doctrine, and the 
brotherhoods of the Sammani doctrine, more specifically, and 
by this the whole community will go into integration, and then 
the enemies will find no way to enter to stab or take from the 

The means of the daw ah according to the Sufi doctrine, should 
come to be in accordance of what the age requires. So, of what 
the doctrine possesses of the virtues of good ethics, generosity, 
noble treatment, moderation and tolerance, if we become full 
aware of the sublime virtues as a universal human value, this no 
doubt will contribute vitally in the fight and combat of 

extremism, blasphemous, and the innovation of the baseless 
doctrine 481 . 

The tariqa is the essence and the summation of the turuq . 
Distinguishes with the Sufi doctrine which is the middle- 
approach. Has great pioneer shuyukh. Its future is promising, for 
the youth have joint and embraced its teachings. 

For the better future I recommend and said to the Shuyukh of 
the tariqa : "the murids are trust on your neck, yon have to be 
the model, spread among them the virtue and righteous deeds, 
and good ethics based on zuhud , following the prophetic 
tradition "And behave decently towards people", and you have 
to be united for the interest of the taSuwwuf and the tariqa 

Finally, it could be said that the Sammaniyya, with what it 
possesses of the deep rooted religious and scientific legacy, is 
capable to continue to voice its vision of Islam in the national, 
regional and global public sphere. 

1 Interview with al-Fatih al-Hiber, al-Debiba 9-9-2014. 

482 Interview with Abd Allah Shaykh Mohammad Ahmed Abu-Ezza, UM- 
Oshara, 10-10-2014. 


Appendix (A) 

The Gadiri sanad of the Sammaniyya 

1- Allah (SWT) 

2- Sayidan Giberil 

3- Sayidan Muhammad (572) 

4- Sayidan Ali (d.32.H.A) 

5- Shaykh Hassan al-Basri 

6- Sayidi Habib al-Ajami 

7- Sayidi Dawud aL-Tai (d.165 or 166 H.A) 

8- Sayidi Abu-Mahzuz Maruf al-Karakhi (d.200 H.A) 

9- Sayidi Al-Sari b. Miflis al-Saqati (d.253 H.A) 

10- Sayidi Abu-al-Gasim al.-Junyid (d.297 H.A) 

11- Sayidi Abu-Bakr Dalf al-Shebli (247- 334 H.A) 

12- Sayidi Abu-Fadal al-Tamimi (d.410.H.A) 

13- Sayidi Abu-al-Faraj al-Tartusi (d.440 H.AO 

14- Sayidi Abu-Alhassan al-Hakari (d.480 H.A) 

15- Sayidi al-qadi abu-Said al-Makhzumi (464-513 H.AO 

16- Sayidi al-Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jayilni ( 1077 - 1164 ) 

17- Shaykh Ali al-Hadadi (d.596H.A) 

18- AI-Shaykh QarTb Allah al-Saih ( 985 H.A ) 

19- AI-Shaykh Aiz al-Fatah 

20- AL-Shaykh Qassim b. Muhammad al-Baghdadi 

21- Shaykh Muhammad Saddiq 

22- AI-Shaykh Muhammad Aqilat 

23- AI-Shaykh Muhammad Jahir al-Madani (d. 1780 ) 

24- AI-Shaykh Muhammad al-Samman (1719- 1775) 

25- AI-Shaykh Ahmad al-Jayyib (1742 - 1824) 

1X1 Hasan al-Fatih Qarib Allah. Yastinbunk , Khartoum, p: 38- 39. 


Appendix (B) 

The Khalwati sanad of the Sammaniyya 

1- Allah (SWT) 

2- Giberial 

3- The prophet (PBUH) 

4- Ali Ibn Abi-Talib 

5- Hassan al-Basri 

6- Habib al-Ajami 

7- Dawud Ibn. Nasiral-Tai 

8- Maruf al-Karakhi 

9- Al-Sari Ibn Miflis al-Saqati 

10- al-Junayid b. Muhammad 

11- Memshad al-DTnuri 

12- Muhammad al-DTnuri 

13- Muhammad Ibn. Muhammad al-Bakrl 

14- Wajeh al-DTn al-Qadi 

15- 0mer al-Bakri 

16- Yahiya al-Bakubi 

17- al.Sehrawradi 

18- Qutb al-DTn al-Abhari 

19- Rukn al-DTn Muhammad al-Najashi 


20- Shehab al-Din Muhammad al-Sherazi 

21- Sayidi Muhammad Gamal al-DTn al-Tebrizi 

22- lbrahim al-Zahid al-Jilani 

23- Muhammad al-Khalwati 

24- Omer al-Khalwati 

25- Muhammad Umbraam 

26- AI-Hajj Ezadin 

27- PirSad al-DTn al-Khayali 

28- Sayidi Abu-Zakarih Yahiya al-Shiarwani 

29- Sayidi pir Muhammad Baha al-DTn al-Shirawani 

30- Jalabi Sultan al-Aqdasi 

31- Khair al.DTn al-Tuqadi 

32- Shaykh Shaban Afandi 

33- Shaykh Muhi al-Din al-Qastamuni 

34- Sayidi Omer al-Fuadi 

35- lsmail al-Jarmui 

36- Ali Qara Basha 

37- AShaykh Mustafa afandi al-Tabarani 

38- Shaykh Abd al-Atif al-Khalwati 

39- Sayidi, the grand Ustaz Shiekh Mustafa al-BakrT al-Sediqi 

40- Sayidi Shaykh Muhammad b.Abd al-KarTm al-Samman 

41- Sayidi Shaykh Ahmad al-T ayyib 


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Appendix (C) 

Sammaniyya ijaza 

Document (Khartoum NO 428.1/19) 


In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, 

And by Him, we seek support, Allah , Allah , Allah , Hayy , 

All praise be to Allah Who opens to His people of love, the 
door of His divinely blessings, and glancing them by the eye of 
attention, granting them witnessing the lights of His sanctity 
presence, and their souls by the wine of His intimate discourse, 
Has chosen them in all the times, and bestowed upon them His 
inward and outward bounties, and prayer and peace be upon our 
master Muhammad, the one with the marvelous miracles, and 
upon his relatives, who gave their selves in his service, have the 
delight in this World and the Hereafter, and then the annihilated 
faqir, Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylli the Qadiri, the Khawlwati the 
Sammani, says : “ when I saw the faithful murid , and the 
blessed lover, the tasted, our son Shaykh Muhammad al-Amin 
Shaykli Ibrahim deserves the ijaza , in the path of Allah and 


tarbiyya , I have granted him authority in initiating the murids , 
and guiding the Talabieen , the seekers, on all of what our 
people of the tariqa of carrying the banners, and entering the 
retreats, and reading the ratibs, ahzabs , and supplications, as the 
gnostic our father Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud has authorized me, 
from the gnostic of Allah, Shaykh al-Qnrashi b. al-Zayin, from 
the grand qutb and the famous qawth sayyidi Ahmad al-Tayyib", from the qutb of the circle of the worlds, sayyidi 
Muhammad b.Abd al-Karim , al-Qurashi al-Madani the famous 
by al-Sammani , he from Muhammad Tahir al-Madani, he 
from the gnostic of Allah Shaykh Muhammad Aqilat al-Maki, 
he from the gnostic of Allah Shaykh Muhammad Saddiq, he 
from Shaykh Muhammad Qasim al-Baghdadi, he from shaykh 
A'yiz al-Fatah, he from Shaykh Qarib Allah al-Sayih, (it was 
narrated that he travelled in Allah's obedience four hundred 
years, and then settled for murids' guidance), he from Shaykh 
Ali al-Hidadi, he from the comprehensive qutb sayyidi Abd al- 
Qadir al-Jayilani, he from al-ustaz Abi-Said al-Qadi al-Mubark, 
he from Shaykh Abi-El-Hasan al-Hakari, he from al-ustaz al-Tarsusi, he from Shaykh Abd al-Wahid b Abd al- 
Aziz al-Tamimi, he from al-ustaz Abi-Bakr al-Shibli, he from 
the master of the sect Abi-Elqasim al-Junayid, he from Sari al- 

Saqati, he from Shaykli Marouf al-Karakhi, he from Shaykli 
Dawud al-Tai, he from Shaykli Habib b. Muhammad al-Agami, 
he from the master of the Tabiyyin al-Hasn al-BaSri, he from the 
fourth of the khulafa", and the fountain of purity, Ali (may 
Allah honour his face), he from the sayyid of the messengers 
and the seal of the prophets, our master, and our prophet, and 
our intercessor Muhammad (PBUH), he from the Holy Spirit, 
Gabriel(peace be upon him), he from the Lord of Izza (Jala 
Jalaluhu , wata'alat Asmauhu wa Sifatuhu ) 484 . We recommend 
the owner of the ijaza (with Allah piety), and abidance by His 
instructions, and avoiding the prohibitions, and abandon the self 
of what is familiar, striving with continuity of dhikr and aw rad. 
And by the capacity of ijithad what is desired occurred, and I 
ask, His tawfiq for you and I, and all praise be to Allah, the 
Lord of the all worlds. 

Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylli Abd al-Mahamoud Nur al-Da'im 

1362 AH. 



His Names and attributes 


adab al-rhildt the art of travelling 
al-ndfahd : lit The breeze. 

al-qawam: exaggeration for the one who too stay on 

night for devotion 

al-uztaz\ the spiritual teacher, nickname for Shaykh al- 
Mahmoud Nur Daim. 

al-rajul al-rabani exaggeration for the too religious man. 
al-rajul al-nabawi exaggeration for the strict follower of 

the prophet way. 

adab inner courtesy coming out as graciousness in 

right action. 


awrad office: prayers, especially the distinctive ones of 
a particular tariqa (Plural of wird). 
azahir al-Rayid lit, the followers of orchards, first 
biographical book on the Sammaniyya tariqa, attributed to 
Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud Nur al-Daim. 
erfan gnosis 

dhikr al-Tabaqa: 

hizb al-aman the incantation of safety, composed by the 


qutb Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib. 
ijaza license, especially one issued by a Shaykh, 

usually authorizing the giving of a tariqa. 
ishara indication 

istiqama straightforwardness 

hisab al-Jumal the numbers were represented by letters in 
the ancient order of Arabic alphabets, abjad- 

hanoot mix of perfumes for the deceased people. 
fath opening; receipt of sudden enlightenment from 


qadr the divine degree or predestination. 

Q'an safsafa referring to the earth; as a level smooth 

plain. This means one expanse spread out. The 
word Qa' means a piece of land that is level 
and the word Safsafa is used to place emphasis 
on this meaning. 

Khalifas or khulafa deputies or representatives. 
qawm used in Sudan to refer to the people of Sufi order. 
qutb Lit, 'an axis', 'a pole'; it is believed that the function 
of the spiritual centre resides in a human being 
called qutb who is the highest of the saints. 

madih praise, hence composition (often verse] in praise 
of, especially, the prophet. 

manaqib: virtues, hence record of the virtues of a person, 

hence hagiography. 
masid hospice. 

mashrab taste, especially spiritual taste; hence, 
approximately, tariq or tariqa. 
mawla master. 

moton sing, matn- base or teaching - text. 
mawhub gifts 
nazr glance 

Sama Persian and Arabic: - sama'un, Turkish Serna] 

is a Sufi ceremony performed as dhikr. Sama 
means "listening", while dhikr means 

salik The wayfarer, adept another name for the Sufi, 
silk the Sufi path. 

silsila A chain of spiritual lineage that links each 
successive Shaykh to his master. 
shamail features or character. 

sharlf a descendant of the Prophet, may Allah bless him 


and grant him peace, is the living example of one 
who has realized the divine truth. 
suluk: Lit, 'travel'; thus, traveling towards God. The state 

of the Sufi's soul and his activity is seen as 
'journeying' to God. 
rajul man of Allah, the gnostic, 
shu'ar praise - singers 
taq hank mere talk. 

tar hand drum, used by madhin. 
ratib a variety of awrad. 
ratib al-Sa 'da the litany of happiness. 
taqiya umm-qarin the horn- hat 
taiqiya umm-qalam the pen-hat 
taSrif a spiritual power of management. 

Tayebiyyan house name used to refer to the descendants 

of Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayyib b al. Bashir 
tuqaba the fire of the Qur'an. 

wird a unit of dhikr constructed to contain in it certain 

patterns of knowledge and self-awakening. 

wird al-Isharq 
wird Ad-Duha 

the sunshining litany, 
the litany after the sunshining. 
wird cil-sahcir the late night litany. 
ratib al-sa 'ada the litany of happiness attributed to 
Shaykh Muhammad al-Samman. 
Rashafat al-Mudaam poetic diwan attributed to Shaykh 

Qarib Allah. 

uSul al-Fiqh Principles of Jurisprudence, 

zawiyya lit, a corner, the building used as a meeting 
place by the Shaykh s of instruction, 
warid plural waridat which descends on the awareness 
of the one performing dhikr or sitting in the 
company of the teacher. It is the first stage of 

union (and reunion [with the Divine]. 



Abd al-Mahamoud, al-Jaylli. (2012). the Bequest, 

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http : // intranet/I welc e.htm - Al.Sabonabi 
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http ://e n . wikip edi a . org/ wiki/T arlqa 

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m#l 0 

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tm l/page5 .htm 
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625 I 

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study- of-the-Sammaniyya-order-branch-of-shaikh-al-burai/ 

.com/arabic/index.php?pg=articles%2Fcategory&id=3209 Abdel Rahim Wagie 
Allah A1 Burai one of the prominent Sufi leaders in Sudan Date: 
Monday, February 21 @05:22:58 UTC. 




http://Islam 1 3/03/Suffsm- 


Part- 1. pdf. 


www. ceosyd. catholic, edu. au/. . J201 3071 5 -doc-1 mam %... 13/06/the-Sufi- 
view=article&id=3 19:20 10-08-1 7-1 7-44-45&catid=67:20 10-06- 

http://www. oxford Islam 

http : //en . wikip edi a . org/wiki/ AhmedB abiker . 
am _africa/Sufi_brotherhoods_africa.html#n41. 
hadTth/ t 
rends in Sudan.pdf 


1- Kim, Searcy, Kim (2012- 8-21- YouTube) Spread of Islam in 
Sub Saharan 

Africa- Influence of Sufis m .Associate Professor of African and 
Islam ic history, Loyola University Chicago- 

2- Tasawwuf\r\ Sudan- Ahmad Abd ala'I 


Recorded videos 

Sadiq al-Mahadi - Hasanal-Fatih anniversary 

Speech by Mansur Khalid 


1- Muhammad al-Hasan al-Jayyib- Hasaheisa- 15-8-2013 

2- Muhammad Surural-Hafyan- Jabat Shaykh Abd al-Mahmoud- 
19-8 2013 

3- Shaykh Hashim Shaykh Muhammad - al-Shaykh al-Basir- 20- 

4- AI-Sammani Muhammad al-Amln- Arbaji- 1-9-2013 

5- Abd al-Jabar Munir al-Khaldi- al-Hara 17 -Omdurman 15-9- 

6- Abdal-Mahmoud Shaykh Mustafa Shaykh Muhammad Azim - 

7- Shaykh Qurashi Shaykh Ibrahim- al-Kedewa-20-9-2013 

8- Al-FakTAbdr-Rahman- Ryyiba- 22-9-2013 

9- Shaykh al-Jayyib Shaykh al-Hadi- al-Sabonabi village- 23-9- 

10- Abbas al-Hajj- University of Khartoum- 23-9-2013 

11- Shaykh Bannaqa' Shaykh Zayn al-Abdin- Sh.Tom village-1-10-2013 

12- Al-Hajj Abd al-Qadir Hamdan Taj al-DTn, Amarat Shaykli 
Haju, l, 10,2010. 

13- Muhammad Ahmad al-Fakl- village- 4-10-2013 

14- Yasir Abd Allah- village -5-10-2013 

15- Ahmad w.Kibish- w.Kibish- 10-10-2013 

16- Ayis Shaykh al-Tuhami- Amarat Sharif al-Tuhami- 25-10-2013 
167-Sediq Shaykh al-Badawi- Jabat Sh. al-Sammani- 27-10-2013 

18- Munaf Sharif al-Nur- Karkoj- 25-10-2013 

19- Seif Adin Suliman- Omaidan- 29-10-2013 

20- Shaykh al-Sammani Sa'din - Shabasha-30-10-2013 

21- Muhammad Hasab Allah Muhammad Ahmad -al-keryida- 1- 

22- Birayer Sa'ad al-Din al-Sammani , Hasaheisa, 31-8-2014. 

23- Interview with al-Fatih al-Hiber, al-Debiba 9-9 - 201 4. 

24- Interview with Abd Allah Shaykh Abu-Ezza, Um-Oshara, 

25- Interview with Sidiq Abd Allah, w.Hashim, 14- 10 - 2014. 

Index of places 

Ahmad al-Tijanl = 129- 130-131- 
al-Amln al-QurashT 369- 372-374- 

al -Fatih Qarlb Allah 4- 12- 42- 145- 157- 158-159- 177-252- 


Ali Salih Karrar 1 86- 

al-Jayili Abd al-Mahmoud al-Hafyan 263- 269-272- 
al-Khatim 13- 45-120- 189-228-322- 324-325-326-327-328- 

al-Makawi - 14 -43-218-369-370-371-372-433- 

Sammani 314-372- 

al- Tayyib 50 -179-192-194-199- 201- 310-311- 

al-Yaqoot 353 

Baqi- 192- 199-351 

Birayer 13- 328-332- 

Blue Nile- 45- 87-92-97-189-199-219-238-241-298-299-315- 


Buddhism- 109- 

Cairo = 11- 117-121-136-138 — 148-151-277-282-314-444- 
Christianity = 100-440- 

Egypt 20- 41-44-49-54-87 — 89-90-91-93-96-99-101-1 13-1 17- 

Eretria - 155- 

Funj= 44-88— 89-90-91-92-95-96-97-100-107-185-188-192-214- 

Gezira- 16- 49-88-95-104-1 14-192-194-203-211-212-221-225- 
Elaj Abd Allah -374- 

Hasan al-BakrT 15- 57-284-307-314-316- 

Hasan al-Fatih QarTb Allah 15- 1 59-160-1 96-280-282-287-288- 

Imam al-Mahdi- 42-228-244-321-324-444- 
Iraq, 41, 54,59-91-191-274 
Islam- 160- 161- 

Jerusalem =41-- 117- 195-274-277- 
Karkoj= 324- 

Khalwatiyya= 11- 25-38-39-44-65-117-118-1 19-120-131-136- 


Madina al-Munwara- 38-12 1-180-376- 

Mecca- 32- 90-91-96-97-1 13-118-1414-1 81-1 84-185-191-192- 


Muhammad Nasir Kabra 1 1 -145-155- 

Naqshbandiyya 25 -38-77-119-120-140-167-192-193-286-442- 

Neil McHugh 181-199-204 

Nigeria- 145- 151-279-280-428- 


Omaidan 52- 317-31 8-385- 
Omer al-Safi 325- 

Qadiriyya 72- 88-93-95-96-107-1 11-1 19-121-140-146-155-167- 


Shabasha:329- 450- 

Shadhiliyya 38-88-92-93-95-96-1 11-1 19-121-186- 

Shambat 289-326- 

S outh of Sudan 157- 

Talha w.Husyan 5- 

Jayyiba 187-226-230-252-351- 

Tijaniya 281- 

Um-Marrih, 42-191- 203- 248-249- 
Um-Oshara 366- 
Ya'qubab 178- 213-219-387- 
al-Tijani 105 - 130-13 1-1 89-265- 

General index 

Some of the most frequently recurring names, such as the, 
Shaykh, Shyukh, Sufism , Sufis, tariqa and Sammaniyya and 
have not been indexed. 

adib al-udaba 181-215-216- 434 

Alim 38-113-120- 184- 193-275-276-331- 

al-Ku'us 122- 


al- al- Sultan 42 

Award 137- 160- 177- 178- 276- 355- 380 

AzahTr al Ryiad 46-49-172- 202-226- 232-235-258-324-445 










71-88-89-92- 1 02-107-1 1 5-2 15-220-297-327- 

39- 92-94-102- 106-110-1 14-186-397- 439-448- 

1 9- 20-26-37-40-45-47-5 1 -6 1 -62-84-88-1 1 1 - 

1 12-121-124-125-127-144-153-154-166-169- 


246-254-267-285-2923 1 5-3 18-331 -342-344- 




20- 32-51-57-58 — 109-121-139-140-141-214- 

38- 51-53 — 73-105-121-260-265-337-339-352- 

102-104-105-109-116-117-118-1 1 9-120-121- 
172-179-180-181-1 86-1 89-1 92-1 93-204-207- 




madih 41-108-186-194-240-241-275-302-341-342- 


manaqib 1 1-12-13-42-50-51-93-114-1 15-1 16-166-182- 

302-304-3 1 5-3 16-317-31 8-320-32 1 -322-324- 

Murid 160-161-309 — 31 1-337-365- 

Mystic 65-71-122-123-156-196- 

Nuqtat dairat 128- 

rajil Uni -Marrih 4 2 

sanad 74-95-121-179-180-220-233-237-302-320- 


Silisla 18-75-200- 

Ulamd 89-90—10 1-113-218-21 9-260-29 1 -299-300-